After last week’s ordeal, I really needed something positive to reflect on the good aspects of life and work. This brought me to the realization that we all, whether we mean to or not, have favourites; favourite siblings, favourite pets, favourite aunts…etc. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love all the kids that I have the pleasure of working with; each child is wonderful and has something about them that is unique and special. And at the risk of sounding biased, there are always a few families and children who stand out; kids who make me sit up and want to say “you’re doing it right” to the parents.
We have this pair of boys that comes to the library almost every morning who are standouts for me in the awesome department. They are probably 4 and 2 years old, and they come in with their mom. They usually well-behaved. They don’t normally fight, but, as boys tend to be, they are rambunctious, occasionally loud, and sometimes they have days where they are nothing but crying snot machines. But whenever they come in, they say hello; when they leave, I get a wave and a goodbye; and recently, once a week, I’ve been getting flowers.
Yes, ladies and gents, these little boys are being raised as gentleman. The 2 year old is the one who gives me flowers; they will be little wild daisies, or dandelions, or something else that he picked on his walk to the library. He has his mom pick him up and hands me the flower over the desk with his good morning. It never fails to bring a smile to my face. It makes me feel special, whether he knows how much it actually means to me or not, it’s his thoughtfulness that makes me love what I do. He is why I try so hard to be helpful, to be creative with programming, to go beyond what’s expected. His little face, smiling at me as he hands me the slightly crushed flower, is what I’m grateful for and what keeps me going after a long and stressful day.
It’s the simple act of giving, even if it is a crushed flower or a hand drawn picture, which reminds me that we’re in this job for the people we help. At least I am. We should all aspire to reach out to someone, even if it is a stranger, and brighten their day. Hold open the door as you’re leaving the gym. When you awkwardly make eye contact with that stranger, smile. Pick someone a flower. Send a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while a thinking of you card (or text, if you’re feeling tech savvy).