As part of our focus on gratitude this month, I asked my boys (ages 7 and 4) about the people that they wanted to thank for being a part of our lives.
All of these people are our neighbors. We have some really wonderful neighbors. Not only do they keep an eye out for my family, my boys, and always make us feel welcome, but they have been so supportive in our efforts to serve in our community each day. They are so gracious to my children when we bring in trashcans. They delight in the “heart attacks” that my guys leave on their doors, and they are just fun, fun people.
We decided to write a nice note to each family that we wanted to show gratitude toward and “give them flowers.” My oldest son ABSOLUTELY loves to give people flowers. Nothing makes his little heart happier than to traipse up to a person or a home with flowers in hand.
We do an act of service each day, with the intent that we spend 15-20 minutes each day focusing on someone else. We decided to give gifts of gratitude (a note and flowers) to six families. Because it was multistep, we took three days to prepare for this act of kindness for our neighbors.
Day 1: We made our thank you notes–so cute! We got caught up with the finger stamping and writing and spent about an hour working on them . . . and ended up with 12 notes!
Day 2: We shopped for the flowers. Mud, rain, more mud, bickering. In the end, it was worth it!
Day 3: Delivery day!
On Delivery Day, the boys were so excited! We split the four bunches of flowers into 6 bouquets (adding some rosemary from our garden) and were ready to deliver.
The weather was rainy, and it was dark outside, but none of that deterred our children from running from house to house to deliver our gift of gratitude to each family. (Or maybe the kids might have been trying to stay warm by running since one of them asked if we had an electric blanket during the deliveries!)
At each house, they repeatedly knocked and rang the doorbell. Don’t worry, it is just their style, and the neighbors are used to it. Their exuberance is at least tolerated if not appreciated!
When the door opened, one of the boys said, “Thanks for being such a great neighbor!”
I really liked watching the neighbors reactions. Most of them went like this:
After the six deliveries, the boys were pumped! They were ready for the next one. The youngest was so sad when he found out all of the flowers were gone. Although the kids were cold and wet, they really wanted to deliver more flowers and experience the happiness that comes from being kind to others.
Later, some of the neighbors even sent texts to thank the boys:
Neighbor 1: What a great surprise! Thank you for the note and flowers. Y’all are great neighbors. Adorable!
Neighbor 2: Clare is just beaming from getting the flowers! Thank you!
Sheila at Pennies of Time began her career in education by working with children and continues to serve as an advocate for children that are at-risk. She has taught in a variety of settings from a classroom in small town Texas to a psychiatric unit in Chicago.
She is the mother of two young boys and is the voice of Pennies of Time where she shares the adventures of serving with her two young boys. You can see more of what they do on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.