Today is the day I’ve been waiting for since I first became a mother. Today is the day that I start training my kids to take over the house. When their training is done, in about 15 years or so, I will finally be able to live my dream of sitting on the couch, watching mediocre romantic comedies, reading gossip magazines and eating Philadelphia soft pretzels dipped in spicy brown mustard. What? Don’t Judge. Everybody is entitled to their own version of Peg Bundy’s existence. The problem with my plan is that my offspring will be trained in all household tasks just in time to leave for college, and that means that I still won’t get to live my dream. But, at least I will have the pride that comes with raising self-sufficient, independent girls.
Of course, the chore system in our house is not simply to ensure that my girls will be able to “keep house” in their adult life (which is good because I am not the best housekeeper – just ask The Hubs). The primary goal of Chores For Charity is to provide a vehicle for my kids to start their philanthropic lives. The Hubs and I cough up money in exchange for basic chores and that money is then put in a Charity Jar. So far, Josie, who is 3 ½ going on 12, is quite amenable to the whole arrangement. She likes to get money but really doesn’t do anything with it other than put it in her piggy bank. She is not really a spender – at least of her own money. Now seems to be the perfect time to introduce the idea of giving to charity, you know, before she understands the thrill of bringing home the perfect pair of shoes or seeing the UPS truck pull up to deliver your goodies.
In all seriousness, I really hope that as time goes on, Josie will get to feel the pure joy that one can feel when performing an act of giving. To know that you have given of your time, your wallet, your brainpower, your personal belongings, and that you have made a difference in someone’s life is a powerful feeling. I want her to learn that she as an individual can make a difference. I want her to learn that no dollar amount is too small to give, because she is not just giving money. She is telling that organization that she believes in the work they are doing and she wants them to be able to continue that work. I want her to learn money that is valuable to her is even more valuable to the recipients of the services and programs of the organizations she supports. Yes, these are lessons one learns over a lifetime, but it is never to early to start.
And so, today we begin Chores For Charity. The chore chart is ready. The beneficiary charity is selected. The charity jar is awaiting deposits. All that’s left is to get Josie cleaning….