Monday, April 21, 2008

Sweet sweet boys

Ethan moved me to tears tonight.
I was away 5 evenings out of 6 last week, with rehearsals and performances for the Adventures in Art benefit show I am volunteering with. It's a great cause and a great group of people, but it has obviously required a big time commitment; especially in the last few weeks. Mike said that by the time Saturday night rolled around and I was not there too tuck them into bed AGAIN, Ethan was very upset and cried quite a bit. I called at 8 to say the show was over and I was on my way home, and the boys were very happy when I walked into the bedroom. I stayed in there for a while and we talked about their day. We got to spend all of Sunday together, and I stayed in Ethan's room until he fell asleep Sunday night. He has been saying lately that he's scared of what dreams may come and he actually starts to cry about it. We haven't been able to figure out what the dreams are about but I think in part he's been upset about me being gone.
Tonight I stayed in his room for a while again, quietly reading my book. He was drifting off, but he rolled over and said (out of the blue), "Mummy, can I do a lemonade stand? I would ask people to pay $7 for the lemonade so I could give the money to kids who don't have things." I was speechless for a minute, then we spent a little time talking about where he would want the money to go ("Africa" he said, "and some to Asia"), when we would do this ("when it gets hot outside so people would be sweaty and thirsty"), and where ("outside where everyone plays hockey").
I guess the end result is that the guilt I feel about this project taking me away from my family is reduced by the example I am setting for my boys. My project is two tiered - the child cast performances through Wind & Tide preschools benefit World Vision, and the money we raise there ($40,000 so far) will buy supplies and hopefully provide water to an entire village in Mali. One of the adult cast performances will benefit cancer research. I haven't talked about cancer with the boys, but I have talked with them about the World Vision benefit and what it will do for the kids in Africa who really need help. The boys also help me with our monthly food bank contributions, and the Christmas stockings we pack every year for those who are less fortunate, and one slot in their piggy banks is titled "Donate". One quarter goes in there every week. Jack gets an extra quarter when he helps me with groceries when Ethan's in school, and more often than not he chooses to put the extra one into Donate. What a kid!
So I will miss a bedtime or three this week again, knowing that in the end, everyone will benefit.

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