“Grace is giving someone a gift they don’t deserve and that’s what my middle name is,” Emma paused in her explanation. We’ve gone over her name meaning a few times.
“Yes, and Emma means ‘full of’ so your names mean you’re full of grace.” I closed the car door as I finished the explanation and grabbed the girls hands. We were walking into the Speak Up magazine launch last night in an area of town we’d never been. It was getting dark and it was rainy and it’s not in the newest part of town. I didn’t feel unsafe but I think the kids did a little. I was glad to hear I could take the girls though since Scott was working and I wouldn’t have been able to go otherwise and I was truly glad they could come and see firsthand. It seemed like it was going to be a great teachable moment.
One of the vendors (low-income/homeless person selling the magazine) was at the party selling copies of the magazine. At the advice of Lana’s email earlier yesterday I had stopped at the ATM on the way to get $20 so we could buy our own copies. After we chatted at the party for a few minutes I took the kids out to the vendor to buy the magazines. A very gifted artist who is featured in one of the articles of the magazine (pictured above) was happy to help us. “I have $20 so whatever that will buy me! 6 and you can give me $2 change or 5 if you only have a $5,” I said happily. Dag was happy to oblige and gave me 6 with $2 change he pulled out of a hat keeping his money. I carefully explained on the way home that the magazines would be sold by homeless or jobless people to help them earn money. The girls asked if Dag was homeless and I replied I really didn’t know. They seemed to move on to other topics on the way home like how one of the new buildings downtown was lit up in rainbow colors unlike the red we had seen last time.
Last night as I was putting the girls to sleep Emma asked again about Dag. She said, “You know, next time someone buys magazines from someone like him and they have $20, they should, you know, just let him keep the $2. I think that would help him.” Like a punch in the gut, my eyes were opened. I hadn’t even thought about letting Dag keep the change. I was so excited about giving him business that I made it too much about business. “Yes, Emma, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it but I’ll do that next time. That would show a lot of grace, just like your name.” She gave me a big hug and Lexi understanding dawning says, “Mommy, you’re mean!” “Lexi, I’m not mean, I just didn’t think of it.” “Yeah, Lexi, Mommy wasn’t mean, she didn’t do it on purpose.”
I tried to teach my kids about giving and while I might have, I think they taught me a lot more about grace.