Today, we completed another Happy Day Project activity, inspired by our thankfulness for service people in our community. (Yeah, it's a few days late. Whatevs.)
First we made these. Thank you Heather! How easy and delish. I will be making these many, many more times, especially with the seasonal Trader Joe's peppermint Oreo cookies that are out now. (I even ate one for breakfast this morning.)
Then I asked the kids to whom they wanted to deliver the treats. I gave them the nearest options...nurses, policemen, firemen, workers at our favorite local spots....
They chose the police. (My son said he just wanted to see a bad guy. To see what they looked like. I laughed, and said they looked just like regular people. I told him it wasn't as if "bad guys" all wore tee-shirts that say "I'm a bad guy" on them. My kids thought that was a really funny idea.)
I did not take the opportunity to explain how there is really no such thing as a "bad guy," just regular people who make bad choices. Sometimes really, really bad choices. But I just thought I'd tell you that I didn't go there. Know why? Because every moment doesn't have to be a teachable one. You know me. I am really intentional about taking advantage of teachable moments. But not all moments need to be. Sometimes, I just need to carry on with my kids, not teaching, not lecturing, just laughing at the idea that criminals could all wear matching tee-shirts that said "I'm a bad guy" on them. My son said, "Well, what if one guy didn't wear it?" I said, "Then they'd get another shirt in the mail that said, "I'm a really, really bad guy." I had them rolling in the aisles.
Back to the project. They made cards, which turned out really sweet. (Note the bad guy in the tee shirt and matching beanie declaring his guilt.)
And then we made our delivery. Not fancy. Forgot the printable. (No one noticed.)
The woman at the front desk of our local Police Services could have just taken our plate and cards and passed them on later. But she didn't. She called the Sergeant to come out and meet us.
The Sergeant could have just taken the plate and said 'Thanks," but he didn't. He offered to take us on a tour of the police station. It was nothing more than a couple offices and an empty meeting room, but the kids were wide-eyed, and thrilled.
At one point, my son walked in a full circle around the sergeant to check out all the gear strapped to his waist. The officer was kind enough to remove each thing to show him: his extra cartridges of bullets, his radio, his gun, and finally, he turned on his tazer to show us the electrical charge wiggling across the end of it. Spooky. I would not like to be a law-breaker around this big, husky guy armed with all that.
My kids were so impressed. And I hope, even though I didn't "teach" them with my words today, that they understood a little more of why we are thankful for our policemen and women. That they are brave. That they lay down their lives for us. That they are worth our honor and our thanks. So simple, and so important.
Thanks again, Jeannett and Jules, for one more chance to be a blessing.
Labels: teachable moments