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Don’t Forget To Thank the Neighbor…

18 Sep

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My two boys both have their own extremely wonderful qualities, but they seem to be polar opposites of each other. Sam (who is two years old) is naturally caring and compassionate. He is always telling me “you’re the great mommy in the world” and lavishing me with his sweet “I love you”. These attributes don’t appear to be instinctive with my four year old, Ben.

We do all of the obvious things to try and instill kindness and thankfulness in him. We say please and thank you for every little thing. We help friends when they are in need. The children have a kindness jar; whenever I catch them doing something nice I place a pom pom inside of it. When the jar is full we get to do something fun, like go to their favourite park or swimming at the pool. We go to Church where the children are taught wonderful lessons in Sunday school. We bake cookies and take them to new families in the neighborhood. We make meals for people who are going through struggles or have just had new babies. My husband and I actively volunteer with charities like Ronald McDonald house, and participate in walks for cancer, and we tell our children why we are doing these things. We hope that emulating the qualities that we want so badly for Ben will strike a chord somewhere inside of him.

You can’t expect someone to change overnight, most of the time I am still disappointed. But last week, well last week he surprised me. Ben and Sam are probably like most other boys their age. All Summer long they played hard and rough outside. Since their coordination and aim isn’t yet fully developed, a lot of their hard and rough playing resulted in balls and frisbees landing in our neighbor’s back yard. Our neighbor was a good sport about it, always throwing their toys back over the fence. Summer has ended now and the boys are not playing outside as much. Last week Ben said to me, “Hey mom, shouldn’t we thank the neighbor?” I wasn’t quite sure which neighbor we should be thanking, or what we should be thanking them for. Ben went on to explain, “Our neighbor gave our balls back to us all summer; we should thank him.”

Well of course I jumped on this opportunity immediately. We decided that we would bake him some fresh buttermilk cinnamon rolls (love these, by the way you can find the recipe here). We gathered all of the ingredients and bought some of those round disposable tinfoil type containers, you know the ones that look like Chinese takeout tins. Unfortunately with my personality I cannot just do anything halfway. I decided to make a fun printable label to go on top of the container after it was sealed.

Our neighbor is a single man, probably in his early to mid fifties. I immediately thought of the show Home Improvement from the early 90’s. You know the one with Tim Allen? If you remember, he had this neighbor named Wilson. Wilson was always peeking over the fence, offering sage wisdom, but you never saw his complete face. To be clear, our neighbor is not always peeking over the fence, and he rarely talks to us. The only parallel is the fact that he is a single man of approximately the same age. Regardless, my weird sense of humour kicked in, and I couldn’t resist copying and pasting in a picture of “Wilson” on my label. My husband thought it was creepy.

The children and I gathered up our little gift and trekked over to the neighbor’s house. He lives behind us so to get to his front door is actually a decent little walk. As we knocked on the door I looked down at Ben. He was smiling and giggling and I just knew that he was thinking, “This was all my idea, and the neighbor is going to love it!” And just for that smile and giggle, it was so worth the effort! Our neighbor did love it, he was actually very friendly. Hopefully next Summer he will be just as gracious with our children and their outdoor fun, I am sure the cinnamon buns will help with that (they are really delicious cinnamon buns!)

Thanks for reading!

~Lisa K

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2 Responses to “Don’t Forget To Thank the Neighbor…”

  1. Heather September 19, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    What a great story, I loved reading it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Well done Lisa, you are a terrific mom!

  2. sweetlisak September 19, 2012 at 3:12 am #

    Thanks Heather!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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