A Sunflower’s Rays

As fall approaches, the Superheroes of Kindness have taken it upon themselves to distribute some of the beautiful flowers that have grown in the school’s garden before these flowers meet the cool frost that is making its way.  These sunflowers have made us so happy (I know each morning my daughter and I have to use the front door, no matter what, just so we can look at these flowers and gather their story – has a deer taken some bites, did one get knocked over by an exuberant child, you know, a flower’s tale.)  For one of the sunflower missions we were joined by my teacher and friend, Michael, who ventured all the way from New Hampshire to join the ranks of Superhero of Kindness.  It was so wonderful to share a morning of kindness with you, Michael!

For our first journey, we travelled across the street to say hi to our neighbors.  Each child cut about three flowers from their stem.  Now, this is a difficult task as cutting is a skill we are building and stems can be kind of thick and hard to cut.  But with the determination brought on by being able to cut and give away flowers, the children used those scissors like pros.  We stapled a little note around the stems which said, “Have a good day!  From your neighbors, the Superheroes of Kindness.”  And with that, we were on our way.

We crossed the ever busy 5th Street, waving a quick thank you to the cars that saw the invisible ‘Superhero Crossing’ sign.  The children showed no hesitation to give away this beautiful treasure they were holding.  We walked from door to door, knocking, and I had to do all I could to keep all the children from happily giving their flower to the first couple of doors.  Most people were not home, so we left the surprise on their outdoor chairs and mailbox’s.  But at our last stop, a gentleman slowly answered the door.  He seemed very unsure of a bunch of children in capes knocking on his door midmorning.  But as the last child smiled and handed him their flower, and said, “This is for you,” the gentleman grew a huge grin, and started chatting the children up.  Mission give flowers to bring smiles accomplished.

The next week we performed a similar mission, but this time we walked the couple of blocks to the Food Bank.  We have been there before to donate and to sort food.  But this time we were here to give smiles. This was a long walk for the children, the few blocks being the longest one we had made as a class this year.  But it also was this group’s first time of flying.  Boy, do those children know how to fly!

There was an interesting transformation as we made our way into the Food Bank and began distributing flowers.  The patrons who were sitting, waiting for their turn, looked as most people do when they are sitting and waiting – not unhappy but for sure not excited.  When they saw a group of (unannounced) children in capes walk in, I must say some faces became a bit questioning and definitely less than excited.  Most people’s experience with a group of children that age is one in which the children are not as quiet, do not show as much control over their body, and one in which the children show some of the natural egocentricness that is natural at this age.  But these children quietly walked in, looked at me, and started distributing flowers.  They walked up to the patrons, handed a flower with a smile and sometimes a, “This is for you.”  How quickly those faces transformed into smiles, and how quickly life filled that entry way.  People started talking to each other, and talking to the children.  A couple of people pointed out others who needed flowers.  I think I heard every single recipient say, “Thank you!”   I couldn’t help but feel taken over by the positive energy that filled that small entry way, and if I hadn’t of been needing to herd seven three year olds I do believe I would have gone through that line and hugged each and every one of those people.

As we were walking to the Food Bank, one of the children asked which flower was for them.  I answered the child by telling her that these flowers are for giving away, but that when we returned we could cut another flower just for us to take home.  Michael said, “Isn’t that the essence of kindness?  The kindness you put out there will ripple out but eventually makes its way back to you.”  That has made me smile ever since because yes, that is true.  And have I ever been feeling the ripples continuing out and a few returning back to me.

Our wonderful friend, Sarah, enjoyed taking pictures of these adventures, so we have put them together for you to view.  Enjoy!

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