November 24, 2012


Y’all know I’m not above bragging about my kids, mostly because they are smarter, better looking, and way better behaved than normal children. Since most of you haven’t met them, you’ll just have to take my word for it.

If you have met them, shut up.

We were walking to school the other day, and I said, “You know how, instead of getting presents on the first night of Hanukkah each year, we give gifts to kids on the Pine Ridge Reservation who don’t have much?”

“Yes,” one or another answered.

“Well, I’ve already signed up and we’ll be assigned three kids close to your ages. You can help me pick things. But then I heard from the school that there is a drive to give gifts to kids near here who also don’t have much.” The kids were quiet, not saying anything, waiting for the point. “What do you think we should do?”

“We should do it,” Benjamin answered, intentionally kicking up leaves to hear the rustle.

“Are you guys willing to give up a second night of Hanukkah gifts?”

Not one child hesitated. Not one child grumbled or objected. All three replied with some version of “yes” immediately.

And that, my friends, is why when Benjamin is given yet another time out in school, when I get a call from the school that he’s been in trouble, when a mom of his friend reports his behavior has been less-than-ideal, I know he’s still got that beautiful heart down there. Because his “yes” was the loudest of all.

Pine Ridge Reservation is one of the poorest places in the United States. If you have a little extra space in your budget and want to give, here’s the email address to contact:

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  • Reply Coco Rogers November 24, 2012 at 2:18 am

    I love this. I love your kids’ hearts.

  • Reply Painted Maypole December 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    oh. i love, love, love that you not only give gifts to those who truly need it, but that you teach your kids about it by having them give up something themselves. And that they are willing to do it even more. It’s so more to the point… rather than “we give you presents, and them presents.” It teaches them that for the good of others, sometimes we do with less. (and aren’t we lucky to have enough to make that choice? that doing with less does not in the least bit mean we do without something we need?)

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