A few weeks ago night I was riding the train home from work, reading a book about money and approaching it from a mindset of abundance and gratitude. I was a few stops away from home when my phone buzzed. It was an email from Jacob’s teacher.
My stomach turns upside down and inside out when I get any communication with my kids as the subject. Did they drop an F bomb in class? He did just ask us what it means when you stick up just your middle finger. (Oh, Catholic school education), did something happen? Is this going to call for an un-fun conversation?
This email, however made me smile so hard. I read it at least six times before deciding to spreading the cheer. As I read, my eyes welled up as I covered my mouth. Proud mom moment right here.
Here’s the email …
I wanted to let you know about something that happened today. Jacob presented me with a very nice gift that he was very excited to give me. As I opened the box I noticed that there were dollar bills and some loose change amongst other things inside. I asked Jacob why he had given me money and he said it was because he had too much money and he wanted to give me some. I told him that this was a very thoughtful gift but I could not except his money. He seemed a little sad when I told him I could not except his gift. I felt like I broke his spirit. I explained to him the reason why I could not except his thoughtful gift and I hope that he understood. He told me that he understood. I told Jacob that he was a sweet boy and that I felt very special that he was willing to share his nice gift with me. He did present me with a bracelet that he made out of pipe cleaners which I gladly excepted. I'm not sure if you were aware of his gifts. I wanted you to know what happened in case Jacob mentions it. You have a very sweet little boy. :)"
The night before, Ry and I were having fun with finances. AKA: totaling debt, income, estimating taxes, who to pay first, and making some big decisions. This usually ends up in frustration and someone walking away. That someone is usually me, and the sentiments that fly around have a general theme of negativity and lack.
The kids weren’t around when we were talking about this, but Jacob’s actions spoke LOUD and CLEAR, like he'd been listening.
I think we can all take a page out of Jacob's book here and adopt a mindset of abundance instead of lack. Jacob had five single dollar bills, some Canadian Loonies and Toonies (which we all know isn’t worth much lately), and in his mind, $5 was too much money.
I talked to him about it and said if he has extra money he could donate it to a charity, perhaps a children’s charity. I offered to help him find one he feels good about.
He LIT up brighter than our Christmas tree. Before I get to the donation and what I’d love to hear from you I want to point something else out.
I shared the email verbatim on Facebook. It filled me with even more joy to see Jacob’s actions and his teacher’s words FILL UP even more folks with love and feelings of abundance.
Then the grammar police showed up, guns a blazin'.
Negative comments started rolling in about how they hoped this wasn’t Jacob’s English teacher, how sad/scary/expected it was that his teacher didn’t get her grammar right.
THEY WERE MISSING THE POINT!
I mentioned earlier I read the email SIX times, that’s HALF A DOZEN (math whiz right here) and didn’t notice the grammar issue. Did you also know I’m a communications consultant? I get paid money to not do stuff like this and notice stuff like this when others do it. I didn’t notice the email errors.... why?
- I was too proud of my son and overflowing with abundance
- I didn’t give a shit
- The email was typed on an iPhone
In this case, they detracted from the message and distracted other readers from the point.
Don’t get so caught up in dotting your I’s and crossing your pretty little T’s you miss a Christmas miracle.
That’s all I have to say about that.
Now, onto giving brighter things...
I have $105 for your favorite charity
Specifically, children’s ones. Because Jacob wants to give his $5 to a kids' charity.
Do you know any?
We haven’t donated Jacob’s $5 yet. Help me pick a charity!
I’ll choose a winner after I do a little research and I’ll donate $105 to the cause. Then I'll raise my champagne glass to you.