I try to give my boys a challenge each day to try to accomplish. I usually give them a hug or pat their hand if they don’t seem to be in the hugging mood. And then I will say, “okay your challenge for today is:…”
Most of the time the challenge is something like: Tell one person something you noticed about them that is nice. Give someone something they need that they didn’t have and don’t expect it back. Or Smile at someone today. We have done all kinds of challenges through the years. But as I was thinking about it this morning I realized some of the neat stories I’ve heard through the years because of the boys taking it seriously and doing them.
When Kendall was in 1st grade I gave him the lunch lady challenge. It started because he had come home from school one day and I had asked him what the best part of his day was.
He said, “oh mom, it was lunch, we had noodles and rolls and it was soo good.”
I then asked, “Did you tell the lunch lady thank you?”
“No” He said
So the next day I said, “Kendall today’s challenge is to look the lunch lady in the eye and tell her thank you.”
Fast forward to fifth grade. I go to the school to prepare for the 5th grade Valentine party. I need to get into the cafeteria to set up. I didn’t have a key and so this older lady smiles and says I can get you in. So we proceed to go to the cafeteria. We are making small talk and she asks, “Whose mom are you?”
“I am Kendall’s mom.” I say
The lady begins to cry and says, “Can I tell you something about your son? Every day for as long as I can remember he has smiled and said thank you to me. I am retiring this year, but I will never forget your son and the encouragement he gave me. I also need to confess that any time we had noodles and rolls I would give him extra because I knew it was his favorite.”
I had no idea. I had no idea that Kendall kept doing that challenge every day for four years! WoW! Praise God!
This year I gave my younger son Jack a challenge. I said, “Be kind today, find someone who no one else may want to be kind to, and be kind to that person.” He came home that day from school and was smiling.
I said, “How was your day?”
Jack said, “We had a fire in the kitchen at school today and we all had to stand outside and it was cold. Our class was next to the kindergarten class. There was a little boy that didn’t have a coat. I gave him mine.”
Then my sweet Jack looked down and softly said, “Was that kind?”
“Yes Jack that was very kind” I said softly back to him, and gave him a hug.