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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Can I get your smoothie?

A simple question, right?  This year, we have Smoothie King sold in the cafeteria every Tuesday and Thursday.  The students are limited to a few choices based on the Federal nutrition guidelines and the sanity of the teacher running the show.  We teachers, however, can order whatever we want.  In August, I searched the Smoothie King website for a smoothie I could actually drink--I hate bananas and protein powder, and dairy upsets my stomach, so the choices are few and far between.  I found one: an Acai berry concoction.

Every week, I order this oddball little Smoothie as a treat.  The real treat though, has been the question I started this post with: "Can I get your smoothie?"

I hate the cafeteria.  I can't tell you why exactly.  The smell, the noise, the chaos--it has always been my least favorite place in a school.  The thought of traipsing through that mess each week to get a smoothie was not appealing.

The first week, I made the trip myself.  Several students saw me, including two young men in my fourth hour class: Kyle and Clayton.  I never said a word.  I didn't tell them how much I hate the cafeteria or how spending almost half my lunch in pursuit of my treat bothered me.  Yet, the next week, independent of each other and me, both boys arrived in my room on their way to lunch and asked eagerly "Can I get your smoothie?"

At first, I didn't know what to say.  I mean, "Yes, of course, and thank you!"  But which one?  It seemed fairest to allow the first to arrive this privilege (Seriously? "allow?" "privilege?" just typing that feels weird!).   After that, it became a competition, a race, to be the first to report to class before lunch, grab my two bucks and spend part of lunch in line for me.

I can't tell you why these boys decided doing this for me meant so much to them.  Maybe it was their "love language."  All I can tell you was that it clearly meant the world to them.

More importantly, it meant the world to me.  The treat was nice, but the joy those boys took in doing me a favor was priceless.  I don't know what I did to deserve such sweetness, but I treasure it.

Both boys are gone now, transferred to other schools, but their kindness stays with me...even though no one else has stepped into my smoothie fetching void!

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