Sometimes A Little Is A Lot (especially when it’s a BABY GOAT OMG)
I don’t have a lot to give her, but I still teach her to give. I teach her that when you don’t have money, you can give time. I teach her to donate the things she’s grown out of. She thinks about the things she doesn’t need and how others might need and want them. She considers the things she likes and puts that stuff in the bags too, because if she likes it, someone else will like it too. She fills the bag on her own and we go together to drop it off.
When I didn’t have the money to give to my church, she watched me teach classes in children’s church. She went with me. She watched me plan the lesson and helped me hand out markers. When I didn’t know what to do this Thanksgiving, my first without her, I signed up to help cook for a community dinner and told her all about how fun it was to peel millions of carrots. Even though I missed her. Now, she wants to go with me next year to help. She’s a pro carrot peeler.
And yet, I always think I’m not doing enough.
Even though she earns the things she gets through doing chores. Even though she’s working so hard on being grateful with her words. Even though I am honest with her about my finances and my mortgage and my debt and our privilege and our struggles. Even though I try so hard to weave giving into conversations…
I always think I’m not doing enough.
Because how can you possibly do enough? I’ve stood among the poorest of the poor in India. I spent time handing out stickers and food and listening to stories at 18. I came home and felt so helpless. There’s too much to do. How can you do enough?
It all feels like too much.
And I guess that’s how you do enough. You keep the conversation going. You talk about all of it. All the time. You give with your time and your money and you read diverse biographies from the library and you teach about systemic oppression that creates so many of these problems and makes it all so impossible to get out of. You make giving a project and a story and you remember that sometimes a little IS a lot. You remind her to say thank you until you don’t have to remind her anymore.
And then sometimes you take selfies with a goat. #goatsquadgoals
Because giving can be fun, too. It doesn’t always have to be overwhelming and all too much. You can talk about all the super exciting things we can all do to help. When I told her that Heifer International gives goats to families who need help, her vegetarian alarm went off. But then we talked about how they use the goats to start farms and to get milk and make cheese. We talked about how the goat program helps families learn how to farm and how to teach others how to farm. That the first female baby goat born is passed along to another family to pass on the gift. And now? Heifer goats are #RoozleApproved. Also, BABY GOATS OMG.
I’m teaching my kid that she can change the world, a little at a time, because that’s all we have right now. I’m teaching her that a little is enough, and I’m working on believing that myself. When you give what you have, when you do what you can, it’s always enough. But now she wants a goat, so I’m not quite sure what we’re going to do about that in our 900 square foot Boston apartment.
This post is sponsored by Heifer International, but all opinions are mine, and Roozle’s. She has so many goat opinions. We won’t be able to get a goat for our apartment any time soon, but this goat on a stick will likely be around for a while. If you’d like you print one out for your kids as a great conversation starter and selfie prop, you can do so here.