Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Books for Kenya

Chris took his annual pilgrimage to a Notre Dame football game.


Chris's happy place: Notre Dame Stadium!

Scouting out campus.  Deciding if he's a good candidate for the 2024 Freshman class.  

Grandma and Grandpa spoiled us rotten.  The boys became accustomed to French toast and donut breakfasts and lots of love.  

Collecting money for Kenya.

Sometimes, when the boys are particularly ornery, I worry that one day they will be clad in orange jumpsuits perfecting the fine art of license plate making.

Sometimes, when multiple boys work together to create diabolical plans, I wonder if their spiritedness can be used for good.  

Sometimes, when four boys bicker more than breathe, I doubt whether they could ever remain in a room together unscathed, let alone function cohesively.  

And then came yesterday: a precious moment where all four boys harmoniously used their spiritedness for good.

We were sitting around the dinner table. I don't recall who proposed the idea, but the suggestion arose to raise money for Chris's upcoming medical mission trip to Kenya.  The notion spread through the table like wildfire.  Forks were dropped in mid-air.  Recommendations were tossed around.  Children flew from the table, racing through the house and plucking up necessary items.

They landed on a mobile book and cookie sale with proceeds for Kenya.  Caleb crafted a poster board sign and added his own special touches, tidbits on Kenya's gross domestic product and literacy rates (extra ammunition to encourage reluctant givers!).

A handful of well-loved books, Pokemon cards, and a tupperware of cookies  were placed in our green John Deere wagon.  Then I watched three sons exit the driveway and meander around the neighborhood with the wagon and their signs.

I wanted to be a fly on the wagon, but I wasn't invited.  I heard things, though.  They stopped neighbors walking dogs and pushing toddlers in strollers.  They rang doorbells.  They peddled their wares and articulated their cause.  (One neighbor joked about price gouging; I'd call it passionately encouraging donations!)  They told everyone about their doctor Daddy going to Kenya to help the sick people.

As darkness set in, I coaxed them back home.  They were exhausted, but giddy.  They dumped a pile of bills and coins on the kitchen table and we counted the proceeds.  A collective cheer rang out when I announced the $40 total.

It was one of those moments I felt a twinge of pride and reassurance.  Perhaps orange jumpsuits are not in their futures.  Perhaps these boys of ours are on the path to change the world for the better.

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