Kids are often confused by the injustice they see in the world, and many of them have an impulse to do something about it. As responsible parents and engaged citizens, it’s our responsibility to support these big ideas by seizing, believing in and evangelizing our child’s BIG idea for a more just society.
This is something my wife Angie Covarrubias Aguilar and I learned while helping our 6 year old-daughter, Maya, start The Cozy Collection. The Cozy Collection is a project that gathers donated socks and blankets for the homeless in the San Gabriel Valley.
So, what counts as a “BIG” idea?
A BIG idea is one that tackles a global challenge at the local level. Focusing on BIG ideas helps your kid understand the connections between the larger world and her community.
Issues like poverty, access to water and jobs, clean energy and civil rights all have both local and global faces.
Listen for what excites and/or concerns your kid and then grab hold. Listening is passive but SEIZING AN IDEA requires a layer of attentiveness that prompts the listener (YOU) to ask questions.
The Cozy Collection was started after Maya noticed a homeless person at a freeway exit. She wanted to help by giving him the money she’d set aside for my birthday gift. Angie Covarrubias Aguilar seized the moment and asked Maya what she might do that would have a greater impact than a one time gift. Maya decided she wanted to help the homeless stay warm during Winter and The Cozy Collection was founded.
Our kids will surprise us with their kindness and concern for others. Let’s seize that.
True belief is an act of both mind and body, faith and works. In order to give your kids’ big ideas some legs, you’ll have to provide the foundational support. C’mon, they’re just kids after all.
You need to believe your work will have an impact. And you need to back that up with some action. So, your kid wants to start a project to clean up the pollution at his school. Now, it’s on you to put something together to keep the momentum. Don’t let it die with you, Dad. Who will you email? What goal can you set? What’s the deadline?
Our first order of business was to decide on a name and Maya jumped right in with The Cozy Collection. We found an organization that we could support with the donations, The Mercy House in Ontario and set a date for delivery.
We reached out to family, friends and local businesses. The Cozy Collection gathered over 1k pairs of socks in the first year, 3k pairs in the 2nd year and we’re hoping for 5k pairs this year.
Don’t let doubt ruin this opportunity to have a life long service project with your family.
Tell people what your family is up to. They want to help. Let them surprise you. Start an FB page, attend parenting conferences, tell the local AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization), tell your kids’ principals and teachers, neighbors and businesses.
Open your self up to the joy that a big idea can bring to your family.
This September, Maya received the Claremont Community Hero Award at the LA County Fair. And now her 5 year old brother, Joauqin, has joined the effort.
Joy, joy, joy.
Join along by starting a service project with your family.
And if you’re interested and able to help The Cozy Collection exceed it’s goal of 5k pairs of socks in 2017, you can contribute here:
Big Brown Dad
hopped fresh out the jet
My wife is Class Mom for Maya’s kindergarten class…and she has a Pinterest account. So, when her duties required her to make sandwiches for the Holiday Party, she wasn’t bout to come with that weakness.
I offered to make the sandwiches but something about my methodology didn’t sit well with her.
She got busy tho.
But her artwork did present us with a few questions. Were we going to throw away the PB&J remnants? And how about the strips of cheese clinging to the crust of discarded slices?
give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
This was not only an economic issue but an ethical one.
But wait, there’s more:
sit, bro-bro, sit. good-boy.
Now, excuse me, I have some jelly flavored croutons to create.
The Domesticated Feathered Mexican-American Male is seldom spotted in the wild.
But when he appears, his flight is a thing of beauty.
Watch him soar:
Watch him ready the roost:
Watch him provide for his convocation:
And watch him defend his space
putting the BIG in big brown dad
Earth? Yeah, I can dig it.
We left Home Depot with a little over $60 in drought tolerant plants as well as some lettuce and cauliflower for Big Brown Dad’s ruffage patch.
Let me guess. You want me to drive, too?
We’re converting the borders along our backyard, one small section at a time. Apparently, fallen leaves with orange peel on dusted mulch isn’t a Home and Garden approved aesthetic.
Two interesting notes about Home Depot:
1) They have a year long plant guarantee. If your plant dies within a year you can bring in the dead plant remains with proof of purchase for an exchange. Morbid much? But I see right through this coy marketing scheme. For starters, most people aren’t keeping receipts around for that long. Even more, if I kept my receipts, I’d be too damned ashamed to walk the length of the warehouse head-hanging into the garden section with dead plants. Well, maybe not that ashamed.
2) If you’re looking to engage the services of day laborers stationed outside, you’d be wise to familiarize yourself with union-breaking tactics as the would-be employees have colluded to set minimum wage at $15 p/h. Act like you know.
When we got back from Home Depot, my wife tilled the soil while I posed for pictures. She wanted to take full credit for whatever success might follow. I wanted photographic evidence that suggested she had help.
Stage 1 Succulents.
These should live and we should propagate. But the 12 heads of lettuce and 6 head of cauliflower I bought had grimmer hopes.
And lest I be blamed for their death, I enlisted help. Meet my scapegoats:
I think I overwatered them while they sat in their trays. The plants, people! Not the kids. Those kids never get water, dammit!
I hesitate to post pictures as it might reify their fate but alas consider it a hope against hope.
See you on the other side, bitches.
Now… excuse me but I have a receipt to fish out of a trash can.
Made a quick trip to Home Depot this morning in search of some drought resistant greenery for the backyard.
My wife is powered by Pinterest and has some ideas for the backyard. You know what that means: Joaquin and I have been enlisted for some manuel labor.
It’s too damned hot to plant anything right now but we’ll be back with an update come sunset.
This post was composed on my I phone using the Word Press App. Not really feeling the limitations.