Monday, September 21, 2009

Don't expect applause

Seemed like any other ordinary day today as we started off for school, but it ended with an unexpected gift of kindness.

Upon entering his classroom my little giggle box's teacher asked me about an activity they were doing for math. They were going to use plain M&Ms to do some graphing and with his peanut allergy wanted to make sure this was okay. We decided to have him do the activity on a separate tray - not his desk - and to use gloves so that he didn't touch them. (He'd had an odd reaction last week to an unknown substance on the swings, so we were cautious.)

After school giggle box was telling us about the activity and how he used plastic bags on his hands as they couldn't find gloves. He thought this was very funny. Then he exclaimed, "Oh, I almost forgot!" He lifted up his backpack and pulled out a paper towel all wrapped up and taped. "I saved these for you," he said handing the package to his big brother.

Inside were the M&Ms from his math activity. Big brother walking stick was touched and amazed that his little brother would be so thoughtful. They reached across the seats to hug as best they could all strapped in with seat belts and had the sweetest expressions of love and gratitude on their faces. I was welling up with tears as I peeked at them through the rear view mirror.

Walking stick pledged to bring giggle box something the next time he had a class activity involving food. I recalled aloud that he had done just that last year during his cooking class at school. I have always tried to help him understand that they way he treats his little brother is how he can teach his little brother how he wants to be treated. Today was a perfect example of that kindness returned; unexpectedly and without request.

Last week's meditation phrase from Pema Chodron was, "Don't expect applause." Give for the sake of giving. Do for others without expecting anything in return. Walking stick did just that last year and was rewarded unexpectedly with the love and kindness of his brother today.


  1. Your story put a smile on my face. It reminded how everyday no matter who we are we can bring joy into the world with kindness. Being a mother is truly a spiritual adventure into unknown kindness.

  2. How sweet!! I think I need to re-open my Pema books :)