This week marked my kid’s last day in the “bees” room at pre-school and a very long two-day week wrapping up the school year (the shortest weeks are always the ones that seem the longest).
As I struggled through early-morning (and very hot) graduation and stressful end-of-year deadlines, including packing up classrooms for summer construction, I watched several of my friends on Facebook engage in clever “pun-wars.”
Started by my dear husband’s sharing of a visual pun, such as a Van Gogh Lego man, several of my friends would engage in verbal chicanery to out-pun one another. (My terrible contribution to the Van Gogh discussion was something like, “your propensity for puns is ear-ie.” Ear-ie. Get it? Ugh, sorry.)
Anyway, as the week dragged on, I thought about how tiring it is being a teacher, and although teaching teenagers is its own set of challenge, I’m sure teaching preschoolers is in some ways much worse. And somehow through the struggles of the week, my friends and their constant puns stayed in my mind, making me smile at random moments of the day. Puns were on the brain when I came up with this terribly pun-ny cake for my kid’s teachers:
At work, several cakes honored retiring staff members and the staff of the school paper. At a going-away party for a close colleague this weekend, someone brought a surprise cake, personalized to commemorate her journey from here to her new home. As tearful as her moving is for her, the personalized gesture showed her that she matters and will be missed. Each cake elicited surprise and thanks on the part of the recipient(s).
When it comes down to it, I think that’s what we all want: to know that we matter in one way or another, and that we are leaving a mark that will linger long after we have moved away or moved on.
I had a teacher in high school who kept trying to get us to do random acts of kindness. In one instance, we had to go around to different stores and say hi to ten people and record the results. About half of the people we said hi to shied away, thinking we (sinister teenagers!) were up to no good.
I’ve posted before about how it seems so much easier to spread hate and negativity than positivity and love. Maybe it’s just in humanity’s nature that negativity is more contagious than its opposite.
But that just means we have to work a little harder. Say thank-you a few extra times. Overlook flaws now and again—after all, everyone is struggling against one battle or another. And it’s too easy for us to take each other and our contributions for granted.
So this week, I enjoyed several going-away cakes, commissioned the pun-ny cookie cake, and am working on a Father’s Day masterpiece. Because nothing spreads kindness quite like frosting.