Today's blog post comes to you with a little bit of a surprise. One I'm hoping you will be delighted about, but one that gave me - I have to be honest - a slight twinge of angst.
It was only a couple of days ago when I questioned the hubby about why the Islamic celebration, 'Eid al-Fitr' (basically lots of sweets, family time and charitable giving) was marked in my calendar a day after the last day of Ramadan. For all I knew it had something to do with the moon rising in the star-shadow of Mercury's backside or something and an extra day had been magically created.
But no. Apparently the month of Ramadan is anything between 28 - 30 days depending on the Islamic calendar. So apparently we have signed ourselves up for thirty days of kindness, not twenty-nine. Hmph. I s'pose I'll have to find an extra space for another post-it note on our calendar then.
And that twinge of angst came because although I have revelled in every single day of this challenge, I have to admit I am a bit knackered. The acts of kindness themselves have been splendid, but finding time to write the blog posts about them has been HARD. I know I won't need to explain this to any of you who are busy parents, and I LOVE writing at my little laptop - but unfortunately the lunar magic observed in Islam did not bring me an extra couple of hours each day with which to find the right words and upload lots of photos.
So to cut a long whinge short, we basically have an extra day to do. So today is the penultimate instalment, and it is a beaut.
Throughout the whole month the Lads and I have been trying to think of something we could do to treat our neighbours. Like a lot of people, we don't know many of the people who share our street (apart from our next door neighbour Margaret, who is EPIC) and we thought it would be nice to extend our kindness to the other humans who share the same bin days, parking conundrums and incredible sea view.
First of all our attention turned to Little Lad's leftover Love Heart sweets from his birthday a fortnight ago. Wouldn't they be a nice thing to post through everybody's letterboxes? But something in the way he avoided eye contact, collapsed on the floor and instantly forgot how to speak, told me that his proficiency in kindness was not quite there. Yet.
No matter. I suggested I buy some biscuits or something throughout the day and Big Lad started crafting a note that could be attached to the little treats. The plan was to deliver them all when they returned from school, just before dinner and swimming lessons.
Later on, when the boys sailed through the door, a bag of heart-shaped butter biscuits with notes attached stood astonishingly on the coffee table. Who knows which subservient, down-trodden soul managed to find the time to do that (But whoever it was managed to plug their blog at the same time so, you know, every cloud).
After the experience of going around the entire street with these Lads, packages in hand, all I can say is that I wish they would perform other tasks I ask of them with such vivacity. IMAGINE how clean my dishes would be. Or how tidy their room would remain. Or the whiteness of their teeth!
And I could see that vivaciousness growing each time one of our neighbours saw what they were doing and said thank you with a look of astonishment and / or gratitude on their face. One lovely lady gave us some beautiful fresh duck and chicken eggs in return (that's dinner sorted) and another who was simply visiting a friend and didn't even live on our street, said we'd absolutely made her day.
Come to think of it, it was perhaps her comment that made the Lads start kissing every packet before they posted them. This I was proud of beyond belief. In that small gesture, that small kiss, was everything my children have to offer the world.
Whether people will realise this when they discover these weird packages sticking out of their letterboxes, is arguable. But that's not really our role here. We've begun. We've started. We've taken a teeny tiny action that took all of forty minutes one busy Wednesday after school. It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes:
"Whatever you think you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it."
And I think I'll leave you with that.
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