We celebrated our Valentine’s Day this year with Random Acts of Kindness. I wanted to come up with something new and different to do. My inspiration came last month when a group of teenage boys decided to play a game of “ding dong ditch” throughout the neighborhood late one night. It’s a little aggravating and bit disrespectful, but it normally wouldn’t be a really big deal at our house. I’m most likely awake at that time and luckily my kids will typically sleep through about anything. But that night we had a special baby visitor with us and she was finally sleeping peacefully when when the doorbell set off our barking dog alarm. Waking a sleeping baby without good reason is the ultimate sin. After opening the door to no one, I happened to spot two teenage boys pretending to take a leisurely walk down the street and another one pretending to be out for a jog. Like any sane person would do, I set up a stake-out and caught the little thugs on their way back past my house.
They weren’t really thugs. They were typical (polite, actually) teenage boys who thought they were being funny. They didn’t think about the babies they woke up or the people who panicked and expected bad news when their doorbell rang at that time of night. We talked for a few minutes and I made them two deals. The first was to gather the rest of their friends and head home without ringing another doorbell or I’d track them down again and escort them home myself. The second was that if they ever rang my doorbell and ran off again, they had to leave cookies for me in the process.
That was my “ah-ha” moment when I felt like a genius. I could combine their desire to ring doorbells and run away with my desire to do random acts of kindness. Let’s be honest…ringing someone’s doorbell and running away is awesome fun. Our family “Boos” people for Halloween and it’s one of the most fun things we do. There is nothing quite like planning and executing the perfect getaway. My 13 year-old is awesome at it. So good actually that it scares me a little. How did he get so good at being so sneaky? Me? I’m not so good. I have unfortunately been caught a few times. (Note: do not ever “Boo” the house of an Army Special Forces Officer unless you are very good at it and exceptionally fast. He WILL hunt you down.)
I enlisted some help from my son Josh and 5 of his friends. I baked chocolate chip cookies and packaged them up with a RAOK tag. After filling the boys up with pizza, I sent them out into the neighborhood to deliver 20+ packages of cookies. They headed out for their fun and were quickly rewarded with blizzard-like conditions. It didn’t take them very long to return home and I had to lock them up to keep them from heading back out to get frostbite. (Middle school boys don’t always wear things like coats, hats, or socks, even in snow.) The cookie packaging may not have looked perfect when they arrived on doorsteps, but I think it was a huge success. Random acts of kindness were done and the boys had FUN. Teenage boys had fun doing something nice for others…it melts my heart. They had so much fun that I think I may be able to convince them to do something like it again. However, I will probably wait until the weather warms up a bit so their parents won’t worry that I’ll send them out in a blizzard again. Sorry moms – I didn’t know!
You can download the file here or by clicking on the image to the left.
Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day.