When doing good goes wrong

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.

Sometimes doing good goes wrong, especially when you give back with kids. Don't give up; try again! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

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.

9 thoughts on “When doing good goes wrong

  • December 12, 2016 at 11:05 am

    LOL on the cookies! Great job doing your good deed a day, though. I mean to do more, but so often fall short and it’s a good reminder that even the simplest deeds can make a world of difference – especially with little ones watching! Thank you 🙂

    • December 13, 2016 at 9:10 am

      I sometimes fall short, too, but the intention pushes me to do more than I would otherwise. And yes, even small good deeds help!

  • December 12, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    I’m inspired to bake cookies myself now for others… though part of me is also hoping that some cookies will be sacrificed to my belly too

    • December 13, 2016 at 9:11 am

      People always love cookies! And if you show up with 10 instead of a full dozen, no one will notice. 😉

  • December 12, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Ha! – Those ever elusive fire fighters 🙂 I love your goal to do one good deed a day… We should all strive for that, and you’ve motivated to do so!

    • December 13, 2016 at 9:12 am

      I know, those fire fighters are tricksy! I’d love to hear about some of your good deeds, Erin!

  • December 14, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Somehow, you got to eat lots of those cookies. Just because you mentioned cookies 3-4 times, I was tempted to go find some cookie jar somewhere and I couldn’t manage (#fail).

    Doing good backfires, I know. The other day my best friend yelled on the phone for god-only-knows-how-long and then sobbed. I asked, “Is everything alright, Sweetums?”, and she’s like, “Get the hell out of here”.

    Not exactly firemen and the cookies story, but you get the point. lol…


    • December 15, 2016 at 7:31 am

      Oh no! It’s like the old saying that no good deed goes unpunished. I hope you find some cookies soon! Tis the season after all. 😉

  • December 18, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    This had me laughing out loud! I think you were just meant to eat cookies and now I want some 😁


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