Did Someone Leave The Hose On?: Lessons In Generosity

This past week has been all about flooding. It has flooded where our family is in Greeley and Evans, it has flooded in Estes Park and Glen Haven where my in-laws built the cabin of their dreams, and it has flooded pretty much everywhere in between.

For the last week I have been scouring the Facebook discussion boards, photos, and videos to see if I can catch a glimpse of the family cabin. We have heard that the roads up to it (Highway 34 and County Road 43) are pretty well demolished. There are stretches of road left unscathed, but even those aren’t structurally sound. It’s not so bad, I know. Many are homeless and an empty vacation cabin is honestly a low priority.

glen haven 11Entrance into Glen Haven, where the Q Cabin is. Photo by Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith.

My kids have been watching the images of destruction from over my shoulder. My son’s litany goes something like this: “Oh. Oh, my gosh! Oh, no. That’s bad. That’s SO bad! Did someone leave the hose on?!

My husband, a Greeley-native, ingested the tidbits of news and updates I found with watering eyes. After his regular weekend shift, he declared that we needed to get to Greeley to help immediately.

My first reaction, sadly, wasn’t a resounding, “Yes!” It was a more reserved, “Well, when can we do that?!” If there’s one thing this Momma needs to learn from my family, it’s to be unhesitatingly generous.

My son gets this quality from his dad. That kid wants to give his chore money to anyone at the doors of Wal-Mart and King Soopers requesting donations. Just two weeks ago I explained to him that a woman was asking for money to help disabled veterans get service dogs after the government denied them the funds. He immediately wanted to donate his money.  Just yesterday I took him to the store to spend his birthday money (a whopping $30, from two sets of grandparents) and he elected to spend about $12 on himself and let his sister pick out a toy. Almost every time he has a friend over, he gives them something. At first, I was reluctant to encourage his generosity. Then I had a convo with my cousin-in-law that went something like this:

Boy Q: “I want Boy O to have my toy.

Me: “No, no, we don’t give our toys away.

Boy Q: “No, it’s okay. He can bring it back if he wants to. Or he can keep it.

Me: “Uh…I don’t know Boy Q…” I looked at my CIL. “He’s always trying to give his toys away.

Cousin O: “I don’t think that’s a bad thing. You should encourage his generosity.

Later I thought to myself, “What am I doing?” Ever since then I have let him give away whatever the heck he wants (well, that belongs to him). I realized I didn’t want to stifle his generosity. What am I teaching him by allowing him to see my hesitation? My attachment to meaningless inanimate objects? Nothing good.

Of course as we looked at some of the flood footage, my little giver wanted to give everything he has to the families that are displaced. Watching these Colorado communities band together to care for those who are homeless or stranded has been beautiful. I hope that I can be as good as some of my friends on Facebook about getting my kids out and helping those who need it. First stop-Greeley, Colorado.

coloradoPhoto by Heather Kant

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