Acts of kindness: back-to-school edition

Some of our happy tasks are meant to be completed during a specific time of year (I’m not writing a message with sidewalk chalk in January). For one such task this year, the timing of drawing it from our jar was impeccable: days before school started, we pulled out a note reading, “Give a treat to the crossing guard.”

Because we live so close to the school, Ellie doesn’t get bussed. I’m happy about this—I treasure the time we spend walking together (when the weather is nice).

Elise’s birthday is in August, so for her party this year, she had her very first sleepover, with three of her close friends. As part of the evening’s activities, we baked cupcakes, which we then let the girls decorate. Wanting to please all palates, I made a batch of vanilla as well as chocolate, so we had 48 cupcakes for four girls. Even after sending boxes home with each of them, we still had a ton left over.

Giving a box to the crossing guard seemed like a no-brainer. And I’ll admit: I had fun decorating them. So much fun that I snagged another four to give to Ellie’s teacher at the open house the day before school started.

Last year, the same woman met us at the crosswalk every day. This year, we’ve seen two new people this first week. But on the first day, when we took the cupcakes, Ellie went right up to the guard and handed him the box. He was very appreciative, even stopping us the next morning to thank us again. This prompted Ellie to reflect on how nice everyone at her school is, which made my heart swell. I’ve felt nothing but positive things toward her school and its staff, which is extremely gratifying as a parent. Ellie described it as a “sunny” place, and I thought: we should all be lucky enough to feel that way about the places we spend our days.