Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Bowl Runneth Over

Being part of a religion based pre-school was a difficult decision for us. I come from a highly religious family whose values and morals stem from our faith and teachings. Steve comes from a strongly religious family also, but himself isn't firmly rooted in it. At the level of school Aiden is now, we figured, what's the worst that he could learn? He was promised Baptist as a baby, meaning he should grow up to follow and believe his own religious creed when he so chooses. So at this stage in the game, what's the harm in learning right vs. wrong? And so what if he prays before meals and knows that Jesus loves him -- there are worse habits a child could form.

I can not stress enough from the bottom of my heart how happy I am with Abiding Hope Preschool. When I said, "What's the worse that he could learn?" I had no idea he would be developing such a strong compassionate compass for helping others. The pre-school is dedicated to helping the immediate community as well as working globally to improve lives and touch hearts, whether they share the same religious beliefs or not.

They continually hold fundraisers, which I will admit, I have on occasion rolled my eyes about thinking, "Ugh, they sure know how to pull at your heart strings to get you to donate..." But when I think about the strong educational curriculum he is involved in, for such a cheap tuition rate, I consider us so lucky to have found a place where everyone is so invested in the kids. And it really eases my mind when I know the money is going to such great causes and I am so happy to see Aiden so actively helping others without even realizing it. When I went to a fundraiser for the school last week, all I could think was, "Wow, these kids are going to have it so ingrained in them to help others, to not bully, to stand up for what is right, etc. by the time they get to second grade..."

The fundraiser was called, "The Empty Bowl Lunch." Every class made a big pot of soup - Aiden's class made chili - he donated red kidney beans to the pot. In each class, every kiddo also made their own bowl out of clay, very small bowls. They idea is that when the make the soup and they make their small bowl, they talked about how not everyone gets juice boxes, cookies, pb&j and fruit roll ups for lunch. Some kids only get a small helping of soup from a soup kitchen.

On Wednesday, parents were invited to come share a bowl of soup with their kids and to gather together and be thankful for all that we have. We met in the sanctuary of the church and one by one the classes filed in. Aiden's class was last, with him leading the line -- perhaps that explains why his teacher is saying, "Shhhh" in this photo...

Of course, everyone knows, when you tell Aiden to "Shhh" he takes that as, "Be sneaky" so he is leading the line in ultimate sneaky-ness into the sanctuary. His teacher even started doing it.

Part of the fundraiser was donating canned foods, so they had a representative from the food bank talking to the kids about why we donate food and who it helps. He's done this for 4 years now and still doesn't have the edge on the kids. He told them, "I don't know if you guys can read my shirt or not..." (It said, 'The Face of Hunger May Surprise You') and was immediately inundated with raised hands and screams of "I can read! I can read!" so cute!

As the speech went on, he was having more and more trouble keeping hold of them so he wrapped up quickly by saying, "Do you have any questions??" Big mistake...

About three minutes later he had to ask, "Do you know what a question is?" 

"Are you hungry?" That's a question...

Funny stuff.

Aiden of course was far to busy to be interrupted with this question business.

I threw this picture in just so ya'll could see Aiden's girlfriend...the little red-head :)

Anyway, he was pretty busy making funny noises..

After the food bank presentation we got down to business...eating chili and buying bowls. All the bowls that the kids made were for sale for $5 a piece. So I was thinking, not bad, free lunch, cool bowl, win-win. Totally worth it.

Then I saw Aiden's bowl...

I had to buy it. 

So now I have a purple blob of clay worth five dollars.

But Aiden has an thankfulness for what fills our bowls at home.

That's priceless.

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