Monday, September 10, 2012


The primary school the boys attend is surrounded by incredibly lush  flower and vegetable gardens courtesy of a wonderful non-profit called Granny's Garden School which offers hands-on instruction in the gardens paired with in-class science and math curriculum.  Needless to say, it's pretty cool and the kids love it.

On the first Thursday of the first week of school all the children in the the boys' class arranged flowers in plastic bottles to bring home.  They also pressed flowers in phonebooks (about all phonebooks are used for anymore, that and booster chairs I guess) and came home with information on volunteering in the gardens and these (at least they were supposed to):

The adorable, rather hopeless one there on the bottom is Z's, and the one on the top, the one I'd have been happy with on the tables at our wedding reception, N's.  I think they are great and the program is incredibly valid and well-received.

There is always more to a story, always, I guess that is why I enjoy long fiction and have forever thought short stories were just unfinished novels.

You see, Nick's arrangement didn't make it it home; he left it on the bus.  I know, a kid left something on the bus?  That never happens.  He was very upset, mostly because his brother had his and he didn't and they were "s'posed to give it to their moms."  (Hey, I like flowers, too...)

We have the best school-bus driver ever.  Ever.  When the bus arrived the next morning, Ms. L said that somebody left something on the bus and produced N's flower arrangement.  Of course we thanked her, Nick was very happy and the bus moved on.

There is still more.  I noticed something, something important.  I noticed, and you can see it in the image above, the arrangement looked very fresh.  The nights that week were hot and sultry as they often are in our area in late August and I was surprised the thing looked so nice.  Marci handed it to me and got in her car to go to work and that's when it hit me.

The water in the bottle was cold.

Yeah, the bus driver had put the arrangement in a refrigerator to keep it fresh, and remembered it the next day and secured it on the bus and drove two routes before our route and cheerfully gave it to my wife.


The teacher whose eyes tear up on the last day of first grade, for the twenty-somethingth year in a row.


The coach who runs out on the field and carries a frightened little boy with a skinned knee off the soccer field with the tenderness and patience of a parent, even though it wasn't his child.


The rough-looking guy in a beat up pickup truck who witnesses your son's dramatic bicycle crash and slams the truck in park and says, with genuine concern:  "Jesus, is he all right?  I've got a first aid kit if you need it."


The incredibly perfect pediatrician who explains everything to the children, not talking down, respectfully and earnestly.  The nurse who truly hates giving the babies shots but does it anyway.  The dental hygienist who won't let me go back as the boys get their teeth cleaned because it's better that way.  The emergency room child advocate who sits and reads to a scared little boy as he gets stitches on his forehead.


Of course, I could go on and on and on and on...

I see them everyday, deliberate and unheralded acts of kindness that touch my heart soul in the same place from which they come; a place decent and deep, profound and sacred, bright and eternal.

And sometimes, these kindnesses make me weep.

And always, always, I am better for having seen and recognized them.

Thank you, and by you, I mean, well, you.  Your kindnesses do not go unnoticed, I promise.


  1. Funny how the simplest of things can make the world so much better to live in.

  2. very kind bus driver, thats how people should be, too bad not more people treating others as they would like to be treated.