Naomi likes agendas and schedules and plans and calendars, and to stick to them. It is really sad for her that she was born into our family. She is the only one of us who is made this way.
When we started on our good-deed mission, Naomi started planning ahead. “When it’s my day for a good deed, I want to make some cookies and give to the old lady in the neighborhood,” she said. I liked the idea very much. It was exactly the kind of stuff I had wanted us all to do. So, yesterday we made cookies and it happened to be Naomi’s good deed day. “Do you think I should bring her cookies today, mom?” “Yes, I think today is a perfect day for it. Bring Kristin too. You two can do a good deed together.” Naomi took a deep breath. It was scary and uncomfortable. Maybe she could put it off until her next good deed day. “It won’t be any easier then,” said I. She walked upstairs and told be on the way up that she was just not ready for the big challenge yet. She needed to plan for it.
Five minutes later she and Kristin came downstairs. Resolve was written on their faces. “We are going!” they said in unison. The room had the same aura as it may have had if they had just decided to cross Norway on skis. They got a pretty box and filled it with cookies. They even wrapped them nicely with a napkin. Then they went out on their mission. That was after they had rehearsed what to say to the old lady.
I was so proud and happy. In my mind I saw the look on the lonely lady’s face when my two angles showed up with fresh cookies and bright smiles. It may change her life. Give her back her faith in humanity. This was Christmas spirit at its very best.
It only took ten minutes for the girls to return. “What did she day?” we asked expectantly. “She didn’t want them,” they replied. And they didn’t lie. The lady had taken a look at the girls and at the cookies and then told them that since she had already made cookies herself she didn’t need theirs. So, goodbye.
I was stunned and offended and thought of a few new names for the old lady. She didn’t want the cookies? So what? She should have pretended like she wanted them. She could have given them to her cat. Now she had ruined my girls’ desire to do good deeds forever.
We’ll probably avoid the cookie giving this Christmas. But this is the thing: After we got over the initial shock of the downright rejection we had the best Christmas story ever. It will be a story we will never forget. We can laugh at it and tell it to all our friends. We can write blogs about it. And, best of all, according to Naomi and Kristin: They still got good deed points!