Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Magic of Fruit

A Little Tenderness between people
Can make life more bearable,
and a lot of tenderness....
my goodness.
~ Maya Angelou

In the fall my children began a new school and each day they have "fruit break." It should have come as no surprise then, when the school needed volunteers for the annual fruit party. I signed up to make fruit kabobs and fruit animals for second graders that I was pretty convinced wouldn't care. I still went all out because I just thought they would have a kick out of trying some new things. So, armed w/starfruit and tropical assortments I rarely buy...I made fruit assortments that delighted the children. I read Maya's quote about a little tenderness and I was reminded that we are called to do small things that make a huge difference for others. My minister said in the pulpit on Sunday - we are doing things in everyday life as if "unto God." I appreciated his reminder to go forth and labor in excellence.

Fast forward to Mother's Day. I had a pleasant Mother's Day on the heels of being sick and having been poked and tested 103 times for my anemia and then some. The day came and went and I thought about the family we are born with and the family we create, and everyone in between. I received an assortment of on-line cards that I often discredit that all touched my life. For some reason the technology of cards has always been a challenge for someone who loves the art of writing, but I have given in. Each communication touched my heart.

Yesterday, the day after Mother's Day, my doorbell rang. When my doorbell rings it traditionally isn't something to look forward to - certified mail, neighbor complaint, kidlet wanting to play, bill 4056B....but rarely a pure smile. My 3 year old hit the door before I could and was looking out the window when her proclaimed, "It is Mr. Fruit man."

As I opened the door the delivery man could hardly contain his own smile...as my children were contagious in their song, " we got fruit, we got fruit....yeah, we got fruit." He said with no apologies - " I think your mom got fruit, but you guys are awful happy about it." The boys broke out into a full dance for the fruit.

I brought this huge delivery made by Edible Arrangements into my kitchen in awe - and the singsong of the boys made it appropriate for a full celebration party. I wanted to find my camera and remembered that it was broken...and 2 minutes later it didn't matter. Within moments we were eating fruit skewers, also known as "grapies, flowers (pineapple w/melon centers) and stttttttrawberries." It was worth the rejoicing.

A very dear mom/friend/Godmother/spiritual mentor/teacher and then some, had sent me a bouquet for Mother's Day. The one line of script was succinct and to the point and my entire day was made brighter because of it. The joy of its arrival was repeated when my daughter came home from school and needed a snack, and when 15 minutes late this morning - it became the best breakfast I've had in weeks. I stopped long enough to create an assortment in my napkin and off I went.

Maya Angelou is right, a little tenderness goes a tremendous way in making life more bearable. This unexpected surprise put a lasting smile in my heart and delighted my children as it blessed us all. Today, a mom offered to bring my son home after pre-school - kindness. My husband stayed home w/our toddler so I could go to 90 minutes of kidlet Olympics - kindness. A friend found webkinz on the eve of her comprehensive finals for her PhD - kindness. My kids are going on a playdate on Friday that gives me one full day to spend with my toddler instead of driving back and forth and working on the computer, again - kindness.

Who knows what makes you smile on any given day...but I am reminded of the little tenderness that goes a very long way. And can I tell you, freshly skewered fruit on a hot and emotionally exhausting day - priceless.

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