I think that this may be one of the first posts that I cry while typing, and that I will cry again while reading. It’s about My Boy.
Matthew will be turning 11 and going into the fifth grade this fall. The teeny bundle I brought home from the hospital is now almost taller than I am. He is sweet, gentle, and always eager to make people happy. But with all this growing up, I can see some “me first” tendencies coming out in him. Like when he refuses to let his sister choose what show to watch or takes the coolest Lego guys for himself. Little things sure, but one of my greatest goals is to raise him to be a generous, giving man. To teach all my children that being truly thoughtful, with no gain for yourself, is such a great joy. So My Boy is getting a lesson on selflessness.
Two days ago, Matt and I made a list of kind things he can do for other people. On the list is watering our neighbors plants, writing a letter to a military serviceman/woman, taking cookies to the police and fire department, donating coloring books to the Ronald McDonald house, and even just working to let his sister have the best Lego Ninja. I asked him if he would want me to help him make cards to send to a soldier letter writing campaign and while I think he knew it was a nice idea, he was sort of lukewarm on it. So I told him to just think about it and let me know.
Earlier in the weekend, Matt and I took a morning walk and I asked him how his legs were feeling. That got us to talking about his surgery and all the things that led up to that day. I remember all those appointments, those medical consults, the painful choices, the almost regret I felt – wondering if I had done right by my child. But in the end, the day my boy was fitted with his first set of prostheses was one of the best days of my life. Still, I don’t really say a lot about any of it. Until now. Until Matthew told me his idea. And I think it’s better if I let him tell you about it too.. These are HIS words, edited by me only for grammar and punctuation.
When I was born, I only had 2 fingers on each hand and I was missing most of my feet. Doctors told my Mom that I wouldn’t walk and I would have a hard life. But then someone told her about Shriners Hospital. The doctors there worked really hard to figure out how to help me and when I was 5 years old, I had surgery to amputate my feet. After that, they made me prostheses so that I could walk. That summer I played t-ball and my Mom cried like she always does when she’s happy. The man who makes my prostheses is really nice and awesome and I like him a lot. Plus his name is Matt too. Shriners paid for all the bills so that Mom wouldn’t have to worry. I think that is really kind of them.
Lots of kids go to Shriners for help and I want to send them cards to make them feel better. I want to send a lot of cards but I can’t make them all by myself. I know my Mom knows a lot of crafty and really nice people and I thought you could help me to help the kids in the hospital by making cards and sending them to me. I would like to try to send Shriners at least 75 cards and if there’s more, that would be great. I know lots of kids would like it!
Thank you for doing this for me and other kids. I’m excited to do this project and I hope you are too.
I don’t have words for how sweet this is or how proud I am of this huge goal he has set. How I love this little boy.
It would mean so much to me and to Matthew to have some of the wonderfully creative people I’ve met during my blogging journey and all my talented friends help us with this project! Matthew would like to reach his goal and have all the cards delivered shortly after Labor Day – which means we have about a month and a half. So I ask for your help. Will you help teach my boy about true selflessness and send us a handmade card? Every single card we get will be personally delivered by Matty to children at Shriners Hospital -Twin Cities in Minnesota. Here are the guidelines we’ve set up:
- While store bought cards are great, we’re really looking to send handmade cards. And don’t think that you’re not “crafty enough”! A drawing on folded construction paper, or a card personalized by your child is just as good as one created by a seasoned card maker.
- Please write an encouraging message inside your card! While Matthew was in the hospital, we received thoughtful gifts from volunteers and the kindness really helped all of us keep our spirits up.
- When signing your card, please only include your first name (or family name) and your city and state.
- Send your card(s) to: Matthew – 702 East Blodgett Street, Marshfield, WI 54449 by September 30th! (This date is an updated one so that schools can get involved too!)
- And PLEASE share this post! We’d like to spread the word as much as we can!
- No glitter! It’s a safety and hygiene thing. Also try not to include embellishments on cards for little kids that may be pulled off (and put in the mouth!).
- For your messages, get well notes are wonderful, but don’t forget to include simple notes to brighten their hospital stay – things that maybe don’t remind them of being sick or hurt. Sandy suggested leaving kid friendly jokes, which is a really great idea.
- If you send along an envelope, make sure it’s unsealed.
- Shriners treats older kids and teens too, so try to send something that would be appropriate for all ages. We’re hoping to get a great mix of cards for young kids, boys, girls, and teens.
With Love and Thanks ♥,
Ashley – and Matthew
♥ ♥ ♥ BECAUSE OF THE ENORMOUS SUPPORT MATTHEW’S PROJECT HAS RECEIVED, WE HAVE STARTED A FACEBOOK PAGE FOR THE SELFLESSNESS PROJECT. IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS MADE CARDS, SHARED ON A BLOG OR WEBSITE, OR HAS HELPED SPREAD THE WORD IN ANY WAY, PLEASE VISIT, “LIKE”, AND TELL US ABOUT IT! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOU DO, AND FOR ALL YOU CONTINUE TO DO TO SPREAD THE LOVE – BOTH NEAR AND FAR. ♥ ♥ ♥