Some of you will remember that this column is called Twelve Lunches because my family and I made, well, twelve lunches, in response to a need in our community. You can read more about it here and follow the 12 lunches in the archives.
Well, over the summer, my commute pattern was different since I wasn’t driving to the preschool. I was frequenting the corners and intersections where most of the lunches were given out less and less. I didn’t make any more lunches.
School started again and since my husband’s new job is close to our daughter’s school, I was spending less time in the car. When I was driving, I was less likely to have my little conscience in the backseat. Over the past few months, there have been more than a few times that I stayed on a phone call or fiddled with the radio dial rather than help a homeless person. My daughter has pointed them out and if I said we didn’t have a lunch, she’d say, “We need to go makes some!” Once, she even wanted to offer her half-eaten granola bar to someone. Her generosity pricked me enough that I did buy a box of protein bars to hand out, and have, but more of them have served as after-school snacks than have found their way into the stomach of someone really needing a meal.
Last week, at a familiar intersection, the sign a man held up said, “It doesn’t take much to be kind.” My kindergartner was trying desperately to read it as he came towards us, but he was showing it to drivers ahead of us waiting at the light so it wasn’t turned her way consistently enough for her to get a good crack at it. I almost choked, reading it to her. “Open the window, mommy!” she demanded. I passed the protein bar to a very happy man who cheerfully pronounced it his “favorite!” before he could even really see what it was. My daughter was thrilled to the core.
So, on my shopping list this week will be more protein bars, bottled water for the car, and handwarmers (it’s getting cold here in Georgia). Now that I’ve confessed, I hope I’ll feel as if my repentance is complete.