"It's for girls, Mom. Did you know that there are girls that can't go to school because they have to carry water for their villages? ISN'T THAT UNFAIR? Mom, we need to do something."
She was furious.
I was grateful.
In all of the years talking to my kids about getting involved -- about privilege and gratitude and contributing to help others who are not born with the basics that we have been blessed with -- this was the first time IT HIT HOME with Fable. I couldn't even get a word in, she had so much to say. So much she needed to tell me.
"I don't think I -- "
"Did you know that in some villages girls have to walk 6 miles a day, 20 hours a week, to get water for their villages and can't go to school and the boys can go to school and they don't have to get the water!?"
"I didn't kno--"
"We need to raise $1200 so we can buy a well. Can you give money, Mama? HOW MUCH CAN WE GIVE!?"
And so I told her to do something about it.
"You want change? You want to raise money? Do it, girl. Tell me how I can help you."
The longer I parent, the more I realize how capable all children are of DOING AMAZING THINGS with very little adult help. They write their own letters when an issue persists at school. They speak their own minds when they want to disagree. It isn't my job to speak for them so I don't.
My children (like all children) have voices and opinions and ideas. And it has always been my goal as their parent to give them the space to speak and listen with their own mouths and minds before coming to me for mine.
...And in keeping my distance, in "staying out of it," I have watched both Archer and Fable take the reigns both at school and at home. Because it isn't my life, you know? It isn't my classroom's charity and while I support my kids wholeheartedly, I also believe that they have far more power than I do to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others. They deserve to take full responsibility for the work they do and the words they use and the homework they finish and the money they raise.
"What can you do to raise money?" I asked her.
She thought for a moment and then....
"I can make beautiful jewelry and sell it for $20 a piece!"
And that is what she did. And what she's doing...
You can read my post in its entirety, here.