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Nephew’s heart in the right place

My nephew turned 10 last month and I have had a very hard time dealing with the fact that “my” baby is getting older.
I say “my” baby because I lived with him the whole first year of his life and helped his mother take care of him. He is the oldest grandchild as well as the first baby in our family, which had been without the presence of little children for years.
With his arrival, my family began to change. My parents who were once a force to be reckoned with and I don’t mind saying quite stern, morphed into marshmallows. Don’t get me wrong, they are the same people, just with cupboards full of treats and lots of time for fishing trips and fixing bicycles. My sister, who had refused to ever baby-sit our cousins, went from calling kids “ankle biters” to the best mom you’d ever find. Even I turned into a “Winnie-the-pooh collecting, never left home without a diaper bag full of accessories, took a picture of his every move” aunt. It was amazing this little wailing monster turned us all into different people and when I look back on the transformation, I am so thankful for his influence on all of us.
As he grew and became more independent and showed more of his own little personality, there have been many times when I’ve had to step back and let him find his own way instead of solving his problems, but he has always shown such a great sense of humor and the ability to handle himself well.
In the first grade when the teacher asked his class if they had a five dollar bill in their left pants pocket and one in their right pants pocket, what would they have, Austin answered, “someone else’s pants.” It is this kind of personality that makes for great times together and for me to miss him incredibly because we live in different countries.
However, this weekend when I spoke with him, I had one of those moments where I realized that just when I think I can’t love that child any more than I already do, he is still able to prove me wrong. When I asked him what he would like for Christmas this year, he didn’t ask for toys, movies, or the usual items. Instead, he told me about a program his class is taking part in for children in his school that need warm winter clothes. With the cold, snowy season approaching, his class and the other grades as well are collecting gloves, mittens, hats, scarves and coats to make sure that everyone stays warm and toasty. He asked me for (you guessed it), gloves, mittens, hats, scarves and winter coats. I don’t know what makes this child the way he is but I am so thankful for the sensitive and generous soul he has.
His actions have reminded me that we have a group in the city that does the very same thing Austin and his classmates are doing, but on a daily basis. Helping Hands of Ennis collects clothing, food and other items families need to survive while they try to get past the hard times that have come their way. With the holiday season quickly approaching, I hope we all remember to donate what we can to take care of our neighbors and to make sure they are ready for the chilly winter season.
Donations of canned goods, especially meats such as tuna, chicken, beef stews and chili with meat, are always welcome as well as other protein sources such as peanut butter. It also will not be long until Helping Hands begins to collect toys and other items to give as Christmas gifts for the children of needy families. I hope the community continues to show its generosity with this campaign. For more information on how to help or what items are needed, contact 972-875-0218.

Candie Beck-Adams is community editor for the Ennis Daily News. She can be reached at candie@ennisdailynews.com.

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Posted by on Oct 28 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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