To my son…

Dear Son,

The way you came up to me with $25.00 of your Christmas money in your hand, ready to give away… I wish you knew how proud I was of you.

There you were, sick and feverish, spending the day home from school. But when you saw that commercial about St. Jude Children’s Hospital on TV, you got off the couch, went upstairs, and counted out your money, all on your own.

“I want to give this to save a life,” you said, handing me the money.

You coughed, then showed me a yellow post-it note with a phone number scribbled on it in your eight-year-old handwriting. “This is where to call. Can we do it?”

It’s hard for a mom not to get choked up at something like that.

“Do you want to wait until you’re feeling better?” I asked, swallowing the lump in my throat.

“No,” you said. “I want to save a life right now.”

What a privilege it was to sit there with you–the phone on speaker–and help you donate your money.

What a gift it was to watch you care about others like that.

And it was humbling too.

Because even though your dad and I have tried to teach you generosity, I knew with certainty in that moment that your giving wasn’t a result of our parenting.

It’s the person you are.

And you know what, Son?

I bet you did help save a life.

I bet you really did.

I love you,


*post previously published

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  1. michelle sneed

    How touching , brought me to tears.

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