Thanks to my post-election doldrums and the holiday season, my family has been trying to do a lot more good deeds lately. Unfortunately, sometimes doing good goes wrong.
Take, for example, the time a few weeks ago when Peeper and I baked cookies to bring to our town’s firefighters, along with a handmade card. But just as we arrived, they left with sirens blazing, so I ate the cookies. Later we tried again. No one answered at the fire house. So I ate the cookies. I decided to try once more: I bought a dozen cookies from the grocery store and took the kids to the fire house. Still no one there. So—you guessed it—I stress ate four gingersnaps on the drive home.
We live in a quiet little town outside Portland—not exactly arson central. So either these fire fighters are avoiding me and my baked goods or they’re posing for some sexy fire fighter calendar.
I’m hoping for the latter.
But seriously, all these attempts to do a little good are compromising my resolve to eat better.
Good deed mulligan: Sometimes doing good goes wrong
The election left me feeling adrift, depressed and more than a bit scared for the country’s future—especially for the marginalized groups that stand to suffer most. I’ve been addressing those feelings by making a concerted effort to do more good.
So I try to do at least one small good deed every day, from calling my representatives about issues that concern me to giving a granola bar to the guy on the street with the cardboard sign.
I’m involving the girls whenever I can, too. For example, when I rolled down the window and chatted with the man on the street, Peeper and Kiwi were in the back seat. After the light turned green and we drove away, I talked with Peeper about what I’d just done.
We’ve talked about homelessness before, so I hope my explanation made some sense.
But sometimes my doing good goes wrong, like those dozens of cookies sacrificed to my belly and the “dear firefighters” card that still in my car—crumpled and a lot worse for wear.
Still trying to help kids do good
As cranky as I get when we go to the fire house only to find that no one is home to receive cookies and drawings, my kids don’t mind when our doing good goes wrong.
Peeper has come to love the fire house’s bike parking racks: The second we stop to visit the hard-to-pin-down firefighters, she darts to the racks to begin her gymnastics routine.
And Kiwi doesn’t even wait for me to knock-knock on the fire house’s glass door: Ever the copycat kid, she loves to mimic what she’s seen me do time and again. (And again.)
So although I’m done buying and baking cookies for the firefighters, we’ll continue to do little things within our power to make our community a better place. And please let me know if you have a line on those elusive fire fighters—or their sure-to-be-hot calendar.