Life is made of moments. Moments that take your breath away, bring tears to your eyes, or make you red in the face. Moments that string together to create days, weeks, months, and years. Some days you blink your eyes and it seems ten years has disappeared. Some days can’t go fast enough.
Last Friday I had one of those days. The day that never seems to end, blink after blink, my day continued to get worse. You see, I teach Kindergarten at an Elementary school filled with amazing tiny humans. These tiny humans have moments too. Moments of greatness, triumph, joy, stress, fear, wonder, and amazement. Sometimes their moments don’t align with mine. I can plan, create, and prepare the world’s greatest lesson plan, but children are tiny humans. Like adult humans, sometimes they’re just not in the mood. On those days- I blink my eyes 972,000 times and I haven’t made it to lunch yet. They come a few times a year and I question why I ever decided to teach in the first place. I wonder if I really make a difference. I wonder, how can I possibly change the world when I feel like a barely survived the day?
However, this particular Friday was a little bit different. I sat down to lunch and checked my phone. I had a message from a parent. Not a parent of one of my school students. A parent of one of my 4H kids. It read, “So- my dad drove for the VA last night [He volunteers for the Bath VA driving vets to and from appointments] and there was a veteran on his way home who said, ‘Hey I got a bag of Christmas stuff.’ [While at the appointment]. The vet looked through it and said, ‘Oh look at this great card I got. It is beautiful. It’s signed the Kindness Krew. It’s so pretty, I am going to frame it.”
This was one of those moments. The kind that bring goosebumps to your skin and crows feet to your eyes. A simple message that might not seem like much to most. But to me- that moment was affirming.
I am the leader of the Kindness Krew. I volunteer for the 4H and began a club to help the youth in our community learn leadership, hard work, and dedication. My goal was to get these “tweens” volunteering and making a direct impact on our community. This was not always easy. I felt like I was running into roadblock after roadblock. There were days I felt like I wasn’t getting through, or our volunteer experiences were not the most exciting and inspiring. At the one-year mark, our club considered disbanding and I felt like I had failed. However, we persevered. We found an organization that inspired us to continue our mission and recruit new members. Creating those cards was our first project after we decided to stick together.
I know that card made someone’s day better. That message being shared with me made my horrible day have a moment of brightness. I wish I could say it was so inspiring that my whole day at work turned around and I felt like I changed the world… but this isn’t a movie. That didn’t happen. My kids came back from lunch and continued to drive me insane.
But that moment did something more important. It gave me hope. Hope that there are others opening their cards and feeling joy. Hope that there are others volunteering in their community- making moments. Hope that even on our darkest days- we have made an impact for someone else. I was lucky enough to hear about mine. I cannot wait till our next Kindness Krew meeting because I will share this story with them. They will feel the unquestionable greatness volunteering has.