Ice bucket fatigue no more

ice cubes

I feel like a jerk admitting this, but I tired rather quickly of seeing video after video of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I know it's been an ingenious and unprecedented way to raise awareness of — and funds for — the horrific disease. I know that. Truly, I get that.

But each time I saw yet another celebrity, stranger, friend or family member pour freezing water on his or her head, the cynic in me wondered how much that person might really know about ALS, if they made a monetary donation, how genuine their sincerity about supporting those tragically afflicted with the heartbreaking and life-ending disease.

Or if they were just jumping on the bandwagon.

So when videos of Bubby and Mac rising to nominations from their friends (guided by their parents, of course, as all their friends are young youngsters) appeared in my Facebook stream several days ago, I cringed an eensy weensy bit. My grandsons are adorable, so I was sure the videos would be, too. But was it all in fun and silliness for them? Or had my daughter explained the importance of the challenge to them, made donations, made the most of the potentially teachable moment?

Sheesh... where was my head? And my heart? My daughter's a teacher. A teacher with a huge heart. So how could I have ever questioned how things might have played out when the Ice Bucket Challenge made the rounds in her circle of equally compassionate friends and Bubby and Mac were named as challengers-to-be? Teachable moments are what Megan lives for.

In a conversation Megan and I had soon after I'd watched the videos of Bubby and Mac making good on the challenge, she assuaged my concerns (without her ever really knowing I was concerned). She told me that although Mac doesn't fully comprehend what it was all about — he's 3, remember — Bubby "totally gets it." He'd been curious about various sports stars he'd seen dumping the ice on their heads so Megan had previously explained a bit here and there. But once Bubby had been challenged, Megan pulled out the stops and shared as much as she figured her first-grade son could digest.

They watched that one viral video together. ("Even though it did have the eff word in it," Megan told me... and she noted that they did begin watching after the part where the young man is in a bikini.)

They discussed Bubby's concerns that he could end up with ALS. Or that anyone he knows and loves might get it.

And she allowed Bubby to decide on a dollar amount to donate, then let him do the math. He pulled out his calculator. He chose an amount... then multiplied it times two because Mac would donate as well, as he had been nominated, too. Then he took that total and doubled it because Dad's company would match donations. Looking at the bottom line of what he and his family would contribute toward the cause — which as of yesterday has raised nearly $80 million, per the ALS Association — Bubby was satisfied.

And he was happy to rise to the Ice Bucket Challenge.

So... Bubby did the Ice Bucket Challenge. Then Mac did it. Here are the videos of my grandsons making a difference.


Consider me ice bucket fatigued no more. In fact, consider my heart warmed by my grandsons' icy feats. And by my daughter's ability to make the most of teachable moments. (Even if it did involve Bubby hearing the eff word!)

For more information on ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge, visit the ALS Association's website.

Today's question:

Have you done the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?