I found myself in a weak moment today.

I was interrupted from my morning lesson planning

by a knock on my classroom door.

A former student and her two younger siblings.

“Mrs. D,” she said.  “I brought you this note I wrote you.

I didn’t know yesterday was your birthday.”

She handed me a folded sheet of binder paper,

decorated with purple hearts, my favorite color.

I’ve received notes from students before, but none like this one.

I’d like to consider myself a tough teacher.

I hold in my laughter and sense of humor often.

I try to be strict.

My parents would tell you I’m the teacher who never smiles.

But as I stood and read this note,

the tears welled up and there was no stopping them.

I hugged her and thanked her,

and almost accidentally shooed her away and closed the door.

I wasn’t ready to let a student see me cry.

29 was a good birthday, but not the best.

After that note though, it was better than good.

Thanks to students like Alexa, a little extra sunshine brightened up this birthday.

I hope I never forget this day.



Shopping Carts

So we’re halfway through December,

and I’m doing my best to complete my list of Random Acts of Kindness.

#23 – Actually walk my shopping cart back to the store

instead of leaving it in the parking lot for one of the clerks to come collect.

My initial idea was to complete each item on the list once

and complete 30 total acts of kindness.

However, my plans have changed just a little.

Seeing as it’s the 19th and I’ve only completed 7 items on my list,

I’ve realized that that’s okay because

I’ve found myself being more aware of this idea

that December is my month of kindness

and it’s motivated me to do some of these kind things on a regular basis

rather than just once.

 For example, take shopping carts –

The first time, it was easy.  I felt good.  I was lightening the load for someone else.

But each time after, when I visited the grocery store

I felt guilty if I didn’t walk my cart back to the store.

It’s like I’m breaking the rules if I get lazy

and don’t feel like walking it all the way back

when really, it’s no big deal.

I know that this is no world peace spreading act,

but I’d like to think it’s just one way to remind me

to be a little more thoughtful of others this month

and to continue on with my Acts of Kindness list.