Unexpected Kindnesses

I had a rough day at camp today. One of the little girls is selfish, obnoxious, manipulative and I don’t like her. The kids made stick horses, which turned out really cute. At the end of class I told them to put them all at one end of the room while we joined the rest of camp for snack time at the other end.

As I walked past the snack table I saw that little Miss Snippy had her stick horse, which she’d been waving in my face and everyone else’s, so I told her to put it away.

“But it’s all the way over there. Can you put it away for me?” she said.

“No, it’s all the way over there for me too.”

“But,” she whined, “you’re a teacher. It’s your job to help kids.”

Biting my tongue, I took a breath and then replied, “It’s my job to help children who are having trouble, not children who didn’t follow instructions in the first place.”

“But I’ll lose my place in line.”

“There’s no one behind you. You’re the last one in line.” I turned and walked away, straight into the teacher’s lounge where I announced that I didn’t like her.

I’ve had children who don’t pay attention, or are disruptive, but not one that’s so openly manipulative. She’ll be like this when she grows up, it’ll just be more subtle.

So, I was very grouchy on my way home, but when I got there I found a box. My dear friend’s in NYC who let me stay with them when I come out have a fantastically appointed kitchen. The last time I was out, I was helping Marlene in the kitchen and commented on her sets of mixing bowls. She has a set of nesting glass bowls that come in every imaginable size and a set of steel bowls that are perfect. I mentioned that I covet them.

Today, without any provocation, Marlene sent me a set of nesting steel bowls. So, very, very kind.

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