Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. Hebrews 10:24 (NLT)
Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:4 (NLT)
Seriously, I should buy stock in Little Caesar's. Bless them for having $1/bag (8 sticks) crazy bread on Tuesdays in our area. Tuesday (most weeks) has become the day I bring lunch to my daughter (and her friends) in middle school. It has become known as "Bread stick Tuesday". I try to bring a few extra bags and the kids I give them to are supposed to share with others at their table. At least once while I am there, someone other than my daughter calls me mom. All this only takes about 15 minutes of prep time and approx. 45 minutes for lunch. For this investment, I am granted insight into my daughter's world and get to see who she hangs out with. On Tuesdays, she is a popular girl.
I have lunch with another girl and other kids who decide to come with us that day. There have been as few as one to a whole roomful of between 10 - 15. We leave the lunchroom and go to a conference room in the office. There is no planned discussion (except for a few times when we've had some issues we needed to take care of). We talk about anything they want to talk about. I try to mention at least once during lunch about being a friend and keeping the friends they have. Every once in awhile, I get to interject something of importance that, hopefully, their parents approve of.
I wonder how long they will let me continue to be a part of their world? I suppose as long as I bring food...at least for awhile longer.
With my son, there were a few times into 9th grade and then it was kind of awkward as he and his friends had different lunchtimes. For them it wasn't bread sticks. There was one boy who liked chocolate milk, another liked apples. One boy's mom had passed away during the year. I always made sure he got a cookie. One time when I was in his class, he shared with me about his mom. I was honored that he trusted me enough to share.
Without realizing it or intending to, I have become a mentor (per Webster: a trusted counselor or guide). The kids I have lunch with have become mentors to me also. I give them a view of the world outside school. They give me a view of inside school and the pre-teen mind....scary, I know! ;)
Do I always feel like going when Tuesday rolls around? That would be no. Are there other things that I could/should be doing for that hour on Tuesday? Sure. However, for these moments in time while I am welcomed into their world, I cherish being called mom by someone other than my own kids.
Bread sticks are a small investment for making a kid feel noticed and important. At least for 1/2 hour lunch on Tuesday.
In a world where we continue to connect more and more through cyberspace, we need human interaction. I urge you to find a place that has a space that only you can fill.....as a volunteer or mentor....or another kid's extra mom or dad. We can never have too many people care for us. Share your knowledge. Share your love. Share your time....it's the best investment you will ever make.