Burpee Dad

Thoughtful Big Sister

This is a pretty small story from a proud papa of a kind, thoughtful gesture from a little girl to her little brother. It didn’t move mountains or change the world but it did show me how pure and kind a child’s heart can be.

When my 4 year old daughter was younger, long before her brother was born, she was enamored with the Toy Story movies. So much so, Santa brought her Buzz and Woody toys one Christmas. The part she was most excited about was writing her own name on the bottom of their feet like Andy did in the movies. I happily obliged, grabbing a sharpie and writing her name across the bottom of one foot on both toys. Over time she moved on to other toys and other movies and much like in the movie, Buzz and Woody were somewhat overlooked for a period.

When her brother first saw the Toy Story movies, it was love at first sight. If possible, he was even more fixated on them than she had been. He held those Buzz and Woody toys so tightly in his little hands I thought they would snap in half. He never wanted to let them go. While the concept of sharing her toys was new to her and they were still working on reaching peaceful agreements in this area, she never got mad at him for using her toys for the most part. I could tell she was a little more hesitant to part with Buzz and Woody even though she didn’t really play with them anymore. I caught them wrestling over them a few times but she’d usually let him win.

One day as we were getting ready to leave the house she came walking around the corner with Buzz and Woody in her hands and an odd look on her face. “Dad, I have something really important to tell you.” she said and came right up to me. Assuming she was going to tell me she wanted them back, I leaned down preparing my arguments. “Can you get a marker?” “I think we should write Mason’s name on Buzz and Woody’s other foot because he loves them so much.” Boom. Floored. Fighting back the unexpected welling up in my eyes, I hugged her tight and told her that was the nicest thing I’d ever heard anybody ever say. And I meant every word.


Today’s story is from Rob from Burpee Dad. If you have a story you would like to share with us, please head over to the Submit a Story page.

Animated Woman

The Driving Lessons

“You’re having a baby? You need to learn how to drive.”














I was 4 months pregnant and living in London when one of my more practical friends hit me with this. It was true that I’d never got my license and was happy to sit in the passenger seat while everyone drove me everywhere. But Vanessa pointed out that once that baby popped out, I would become increasingly dependent on The Huz and what if he wasn’t around? What if I needed to get somewhere in a hurry? What if I couldn’t manage the Underground or bus?

I had to admit she had a point; I might become isolated.

That thought scared me. But there were obstacles.

“Well, we haven’t got much money and driving lessons are expensive.”

Vanessa simply said, “I’ll pay for them.”

She insisted; she said it would be a gift. You couldn’t argue with Vanessa…well you could try, but once her mind was made up, that was that.











I considered it. As she was financially stable it wasn’t going to put her in troubles. So I decided to graciously accept what became known as The Driving Lessons.

* * * * *

I got my license three weeks after my baby was born. I loved zooming around London in our 1969 VW camper van with our little sweetling and our giant Newfie.












When The Huz went away on tour, I could easily shop for groceries, visit friends, and head for the doctors if the wee one ran a fever. When I suffered from post-natal depression, and everything overwhelmed me, my driver’s license got me out to mother/baby playgroups every day.

Vanessa had been right. I was ever so grateful.

* * * * *

Years passed and we moved to Vancouver and eventually Montreal. I was working full time as a producer and had a decent salary. I began to think, why not pass Vanessa’s gift on to someone who needs it? I began to search for suitable candidates…someone whose situation would mean they’d benefit from the ability to drive but who couldn’t afford it financially. I approached several people but it wasn’t so easy! You’d be surprized at how many people are actually unwilling to learn to drive.











They say they want to, but if you put it within their reach, they will shy away. They may prefer to be driven, or the responsibility of being behind the wheel is too much. People have their reasons, I guess.

And then I met Martin. Martin and Colleen were the parents of our daughter’s kindergarten BFF. We became good friends with them; we hung out, we went to the countryside together with our collection of kids and dogs, and we had some pretty great dinners. Martin rocked a fantastic salad with baby spinach, lemon and salt. Good times!












Martin did all the driving in their family as Colleen was a NON-DRIVER. Actually it was kind of a bone of contention between them.












As our friendship grew, the closer we became, the more certain I was that Colleen would be the ideal recipient for Vanessa’s gift.

You see, Martin had terminal brain cancer. It’s strange to become friends with someone knowing that you will one day lose them completely. By the time we met he’d already survived a couple of brain surgeries to remove tumors, and all kinds of radiation therapy and chemo. He’d lived longer than modern medicine said he would, managing to help raise two daughters from babyhood to children. He was doing okay… but I knew that someday he wouldn’t be able to drive anymore and that Colleen could be stranded…and isolated. The family had little money and their collective ability to work was becoming sporadic. I decided to offer her The Driving Lessons.

Colleen resisted at first, perhaps not wanting to accept a charity. But I asked her to reflect on it; I said that someday, if she ever was in a position to do so, she could pass on The Driving Lessons to someone else. And that way Vanessa’s gift could keep on giving. She agreed.











Several months later Colleen got her driver’s license. She eventually took over all the driving for her husband, their two children and two large dogs. Martin, once an Ironman triathlete, lived as long as he could and when the cancer took too much, he gently passed away at home. He is missed. I made some spinach salad yesterday and it made me think fondly of him.

Our kids are still great friends, and well into the throes of their adolescence.

And Colleen? I just saw her in her car outside our kids’ school and she honked at me.

Thank-you Vanessa.


This story is courtesy of JC Little from the site, The Animated Woman. If you have a story you would like to share with us, please head over to the Submit a Story page.

Dan Hill

Canadian Singer/Songwriter Dan Hill’s Kindness Message

It’s World Kindness Day and we are honoured to have received a video Kindness story from Canadian singer and songwriter Dan Hill! Dan’s song, “Sometimes When We Touch”, which you all are now humming knowingly, went triple platinum in Canada! His message in the video is that Kindness isn’t always the huge overt gestures and that sometimes Kindness simply starts at home. It’s a message we can all relate to and implement in our every day lives.

Once you are done with the video, please head over to Dan Hill’s Website and check out what he is up to! You can also catch up with Dan on Facebook and Twitter!

Typhoon Haiyan

On World Kindness Day ~ Help Those Affected By Typhoon Haiyan

On this, World Kindness Day, there are few who can use our help more than those who have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.  Typhoon Haiyan is the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines and has caused the loss of an estimated 10,000 lives. The storm has caused widespread damage, including landslides and flooding. Among the people affected are those who were left homeless by an earthquake in mid-October. You can read more about the impact on the Canadian Red Cross website.

What we are asking of you today, is to open up your hearts and your wallets in order to help the people who are suffering through this incredible tragedy. It has been reported that up to 4 million children are believed to be living in the areas that were hit and you can do your part to help them get through this. Thanks to the Canadian Government and UNICEF supporters, you have the possibility of tripling your donation if you hop over to the UNICEF page to donate now. No one deserves to go through something like this alone and if we can all make a difference by giving just a little bit, it is well worth it. Thank You!

Typhoon Haiyan 2