Today, I saw something that made me smile. It was actually two people, separated by about five minutes and two roads, performing similar tasks. I accompanied my husband to drop off our vehicle for an oil change at the local garage, and then we headed back home. It was then I saw it.
First, we passed a dental office. A local family owns this practice, a practice that we go to for care. The building is a newer addition to our growing town, set on one of the main streets. Today, two children were shoveling the side walk in front of the building near the street. I’m sure it was two of the dentist’s boys. One of the boys, I had in garden club some years ago. It made me smile to see him working hard to clear the sidewalk with his sibling.
As we proceeded through town towards our home, I saw another teen shoveling. This was another student I had in garden club years ago. He has gone from being a small child who walked home after our meetings to a tall, thin teen donning spirit wear from the high school. He was shoveling his neighbor’s driveway. Even though I haven’t talked to this boy in years, I was proud of him!
Obviously, students are on a break from school right now. It is Christmas week and our district is typically off during this time. So, it’s not that these boys were taking time from their studies to shovel. But, let’s face it; the year has been a-b-normal! I cannot recall seeing former students shoveling during past winters. And, it is winter in Wisconsin! We have to shovel many times during the season.
But, the fact that the shoveling was a good deed being done by young teens was heartwarming. I hope they are encouraged to do it again, even when school is back in session. Caring for those in your own community is a lesson you cannot learn behind a desk or screen. The lesson comes from being prompted by responsible adults in the lives of our youth, adults that have asked their children to help. I am grateful for the actions of both the parents, behind the scenes, and the youth standing in the cold with shovels in their hands.
Kids are resilient. While this year has not been ideal, I am sure they’ll all remember it. And, I also think that given what I’ve seen, most of them will be okay after the pandemic has passed. A lot of life and how to live it can be learned outside of school.