the power of oreos and broken legs…
October 23, 2014
My guerrilla kindness class that I teach at a local high school has been just okay lately. Not bad but not really good either. I’m just not sure if I am really connecting yet, which is very unusual for this empath- and slightly torturing. It’s been a source of discussion in my house off and on, everyone offering their suggestions and opinions. Today was no exception.
“Mom!” my six year old shouted from the other room. “How are you feeling about your kindness class today?!”
“Ummmm, I’m a little nervous.” I replied, shouting while I changed my outfit for the third time.
“You’ll be GREAT! Break a leg!” Lyra shouted back.
I’m not sure this is a Broadway show advice sort of moment but she has been watching a LOT of Annie lately….AND either way, the sun will come out tomorrow.
“Mom, what are you worried about?” Lucy (age 9) responded as she sensed a deeper inquiry may be needed.
“I dunno, I am just not sure we are connecting yet, you know? I’m a little rusty.” I said.
“Hmmmm, let’s talk this through. What do teenagers like? What. Do. Teenagers. Like. Hmmmm, they love technology! That’s it, I’ve got it, why don’t you have them all text EACH OTHER (said with an A-Ha! voice) a kind word?” Lucy offered.
The effort, care and kindness of this moment is enough to make anyone’s day, whether the class sucks or not. I have no idea why they are so invested exactly, but I’ll take it as there have been many a moment in the last week where self absorption was off the charts…for all of us truly, some were just more honest and vocal than others.
It seems every time I fear there will never be any balance in our family on this point, they surprise me…and I find I still have a long way to go myself.
They sent me on my way with one more wish and two little girl smiles… “I hope it goes good Mom!”
I stopped on the way to pick up a treat. I bring one every week, it is one part let’s-start-with-kindness and one part I-think-all-teenagers-love-sweets sort of offering. I grabbed a package of Oreos and gallon of milk.
I walked up the stairs with my gallon of milk and my most hopeful hello voice.
“Is that MILK you are carrying?” a girl asked, who is not in my class.
“Yup and I have Oreos in my bag. Double Stuff.” I replied proudly.
“Are you serious?!!” another girl said. “For Kindness class?!”
I nodded my head.
“OMG Patience….you seriously are the best.” I quietly thanked my lucky stars for this stumbled upon goodness. Who KNEW Oreos and milk were the way to their hearts?! We quickly moved into conversations about celebrity crushes and Halloween costumes.
Later, in our discussion and quest to nail down kindness projects that we could possibly do, I asked what felt the most human. What one thing do we all care about and can share? They were a little baffled, it was a big question to tackle.
“Apparently it is Oreos and milk today…” I said. They all half smiled and totally agreed. “We can do that, we can give Oreos and milk to the entire school.” I said.
Their faces lit up….because this is where kindness begins some days… With a break-a-leg, and teenage junk food.