Our Rural Roots

When Chocolate Melts Hearts

(Tiffany Dowell Lashmet)

Am I the only one who cringes when it is time for the school fund-raiser? The kids proudly carried home their boxes containing 60 chocolate bars each and had big dreams about how many they could sell. I tried to temper expectations. Every elementary kid in town is selling them, we aren't from here, we don't have family around here ...

I didn't want them to be disappointed (or me to end up having to write a check for $120), so I told them they could record a video for Facebook.

You know what happened next? Our people showed up. The kids didn't sell 60 candy bars. They sold 880 -- to customers in 10 states and one European country.

Aunt Elaine placed the first order, and she took 100. My son was so shocked by the size of the order, he got her on the phone to be sure she could afford to pay ONE HUNDRED dollars ($1 each). Their various sheep show friends -- some of the top breeders and judges in the country -- purchased 200 bars. Family friends, work friends and others jumped in to support my kids.

It was a good reminder about the importance of community, near and far. It was a good lesson in letting my kids dream big. In trying to protect them from disappointment, I nearly made them miss out on this whole experience. Mostly, it was good for my heart to see how many people care about my two little ones.

I am not sure there is something more important in a child's life than knowing there are other adults (in addition to their parents) who love them. It offers a satisfying helping of strength, confidence and self-worth.

It turns out that life lessons and kindness can be measured one candy bar at a time.

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Tiffany Dowell Lashmet balances a family, a farm and a career in ag law from the Texas Panhandle. Follow her blog at alwaysafarmkid.com, on Instagram at alwaysafarmkid and Twitter @TiffDowell

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