My family and I went to the Winterfest in Victor over the weekend. After the parade, my niece, nephew, husband, and almost 5-year-old started building a snowman on the slim patch of earth at the corner of the main intersection in town. We all got really into it and even started forging for arms, eyes, and buttons. We found most of the necessary parts in the nearby parking lot-mud and rocks. But what to do about the nose?
About that time a nearby family spotted our, what I consider, pretty epic snowman given the conditions and lack of proper building materials. The Dad came over and commented on our handy work. We were quick to add the bit about the missing nose. To which he replied, “I’m going over to the market, you want me to get a carrot?”
We all hardily agreed.
We continued lobbing snowballs at each other and putting the final touches on our snowman, wondering if he really would come back with our nose. And then, there he was with a whole bag of carrots. One of which he gave to my kid just to eat.
I watched as the kids’ eyes lit up. Then, my husband remembered he had an Airhead left over from the parade in his pocket that would make a perfect mouth.
We affixed the final touches, said our thank yous, and stood back and admired our work.
About that time I remembered a line from Klaus, the holiday movie we recently watched for our activity advent calendar, “A true act of goodwill always sparks another.”
It was then that I realized I had just witnessed an Asset Building moment in the wild and regretted not getting our hero’s name so I could tag him on social media.
Now I know some of you might be thinking, “How in the world does building a snowman and a man bringing y’all carrots build Assets? Much less help prevent kids from getting into trouble later? It can’t be that simple.”
But in that moment, the adults were joining in with the kids. We were all working together, listening to one another, solving problems, and then counting on the community to come through when we didn’t have all the resources we needed.
And yes, it was just for building a snowman. But if my five-year-old learns that she can reach out to a stranger about simple, fun things, then we’ve laid the foundation for her to keep reaching out and to trust that the adults in her community have her back.
And isn’t that what we all want? To know that when we are in trouble or need something someone will be there to help us? And aren’t we more likely to do the same for others when it’s been done for us?
We finally had to give into the cold and looming bedtime. As we were walking back to our car, I gave our snowman one final look and made a note to add, “Do something kind for a stranger,” to our advent calendar.
When you do something kind this holiday season or if someone does something for you, take a picture, thank them for being a Teton Valley Asset Builder, and let us know so we can keep “sparking goodwill.”
And look for our Asset Building holiday movie guide later this week!