Chapter 31. Random Acts of Kindness: Teaching My Children the Joy of Giving

The rain had been coming down in sheets all week, and this first break in the clouds sent our family bursting into the expanse of our front yard, yearning for the fresh smell of spring that follows rain. As we wandered the winding road that led to my barn, Claire and I stopped to investigate the myriad of potholes that had morphed into tiny ponds, perfect for frogs to lay eggs and spawn their young.

Amazed at these critters' resourcefulness, my mind spun forward in time and realized that once the sun came out, they wouldn't be so lucky. Their corner on the real estate market was about to dry up, and that spelled T-R-O-U-B-L-E for their little ones. Gathering buckets and filling them from a nearby pond, we set out on a small relocation project.

"Okay, now be careful, Claire," I warned my daughter, who was just a little girl at the time. "We have to scoop them all up; we can't leave any behind." I watched as her small hands dove deep into the craters of our dirt road, craters filled with tiny black tails whipping furiously, sleek bodies cutting through murky water.

I helped her catch each one, quickly and with care, and then send them flapping into our buckets. Up and down the gravel road we moved, looking for life in each pothole, and then releasing them into our pond.

When my friend saw us hard at work with the diligence of firemen in a burning building, she stopped and said, "Tami, why are you doing that? What ...

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