There have been many times throughout my life where I have done kind things and have expected kindness in return. Times when I have helped out family and friends when they have needed it. Then I naturally expect them to be available when I might need help with something. I will say that a lot of times this expectation is met. When I have done something kind such as meeting up with a friend that needs to talk or help a friend out when they are moving, etc and I have not been met with the same type of kindness it does make me question that friendship a little bit. However, I have to remind myself that sometimes we do need to be kind without expectations because maybe that person just really needed me in that moment. I take comfort in the fact that when I am in need there will be a friend or family member there for me, it just might not be the same friend that I have already extended kindness to already. However, what you put out in the world will always come back to you in some form or another when you really need it.
I have noticed this week that a lot of times where I give kindness without expectation is in my day to day life. Simple things like holding a door open for someone or helping out a elderly neighbor do some yard work. These are the things that I have been raise to believe that you just do for others just because. There is no stigma attached, no expectation attached just being friendly and being human. These are the type of values that I want to teach my son. I want him to want to help out because we are all human and we all need to do our parts and help each other.
When I did things like hold a door open for someone it just makes me feel good. And I love it when my son wants to help me hold the door because that proves that I am teaching him this value already. We have also worked on leaving some extra pennies on the horse that kids can ride at the grocery store. He likes knowing that he is leaving a penny there for some other kid that might not have one that day and wants to ride. And maybe one day when we have forgotten our penny that same kindness will have been given from someone else so he might get to ride too.
Overall I think that people need to start trying to get back to some of the older values where people just help each other out no matter what. We have become a society that is so wrapped up in ourselves and what we can get out of all the little things that we do that our children are not being taught this simple thing. Even just something small that you can do for someone can brighten up their day. You never know what someone is going through in that moment.
These past couple of months I have been working on fixing up our basement a little bit in order to have more of a play room down there for Ray. For a while we just had a lot of storage down there with a few toys that he could play with when we were down there. Then we got a table that used to be mine from when I was little so he could paint and work on projects. Once I was finally able to give away the piano that was down there I started to get a lot more room in order to move things around an make it more functional for both of us. Now that he is getting bigger I am able to let him go down there to play by himself sometimes when I need to do things like get dinner ready.
I found a lot of the things that we have down there at yard sales so we did not spend all that much to really put this room together or some of it was from my childhood. He loves writing with chalk so the cute easel that I got at a yard sale was perfect. All I had to do was get some chalkboard paint and put another coat on it so that the chalk would work better.
We have a cute little bookshelf that was mine from when I was little along with the table. I have put all of his art supplies out on the bookshelf so that he is able to get out paper and markers or paints whenever he feels like doing that. We also have play dough that he is able to get and play with. The table is perfect for him as well because he can either sit in the chairs or stand beside it to do things.
We also decided to move his toy box down to the basement as well because he never really got into it when it was in his room. I have found that this is an easy way to rotate his toys. I am able to take some toys that we have upstairs that he has been playing with and move them down to the toy box and get something new out when he starts to get bored every couple months.
I also moved his little workbench down to the basement since he was being too rough with it when it was upstairs. Every time we go down there now that is the first thing that he goes to. It is also better down there since the walls are brick. If he hits them with his little hammer it doesn’t really matter.
We left most of the floor carpet. The people that owned the house before us put down remnant pieces that covered most of the concrete floors. Once I moved the shelving and the piano I had a small section of the floor that did not have any carpet covering it. I decided that my best bet would be to buy a pre sized piece of vinyl flooring which was just six feet by eight feet and put that down on the floor where he will be doing art projects. This makes for really easy clean up and I don’t worry too much if he spills something.
Overall for our little house having a space that he can play in and leave things out and just have some fun is great. Ever since he stopped going to daycare I felt like he needed a place where we could do art projects and have fun getting a little messy. In the winter it is great because he will be able to go and play and have some fun when it is too nasty to go outside. We are finding that in the summer it is also a good place to go in the afternoon when it is just too hot to be outside.