May I share a fun family story with you?
Yes, yes, it involves cupcakes again. (Just so you know it’s a sweet story.) I promise we won’t be telling weekly cupcake adventures. (OK, I don’t promise. But it’s not likely to happen again soon, especially since, shhhhh, don’t tell, I really don’t like cupcakes that much…)
I just wanted to share with you what happened with our daughter last week far from the shores of her Northwoods childhood home in Upper Michigan.
As many of you know she lives in the Big City now. New York City, to be exact. She’s traveled from the woods to the subway, from Lake Superior’s shores to skyscrapers beside the Hudson. Our youngest has been living in the Big Apple for three years now. (Our oldest also lives in the city, on the opposite side of this country. He drives toward his university with the Pacific Ocean over his left shoulder, while the youngest nods toward the Atlantic Ocean over her right shoulder.)
You’re wondering how she ended up on Good Morning America, one of our country’s morning news and talk shows, last Wednesday, aren’t you?
First, she wasn’t interviewed as a celebrity. She wasn’t making news. She was a sidekick during the weather segment, handing out cupcakes and coffee and having a blast.
Here’s what happened.
She works in the financial end of an events and catering company in Manhattan. A couple of weeks ago someone promoting a movie over there in LA called. They needed someone with a New York food handling certificate to supervise the distribution of cupcakes on Good Morning America.
Our daughter volunteered.
We asked her a million questions beforehand. She didn’t know. She didn’t know what time she’d be on TV. She didn’t even know if she would make an appearance on camera. Maybe she would just be in the background, supervising cupcake distribution.
It didn’t matter too much to us because we don’t have TV service, and couldn’t watch if we wanted. Besides, we had to be at work. But the grandparents wanted to know. We advised them to watch Good Morning America from 7-9 a.m. I begged my mom to call me at the school if our cupcake distributor was seen.
My mom called at 8:40 a.m Our smiling girl was indeed spotted for maybe two seconds during the weather segment. Yes, she had made her television debut.
She emailed photos of the Big Cupcake Event.
It was delicious.
Mostly because you could see how much she seemed to be enjoying herself. She was grinning from ear to ear.
She later told me how much fun she had.
You know how people can sometimes be in their own worlds, preoccupied, shut off from their fellow commuters. Sometimes we ignore the passersby as if they weren’t really there. We don’t always say hello, smile, make contact with a stranger. Perhaps we’re scared or busy or just don’t really care. It can be a fragmented world, especially in a city filled with millions of people. Sometimes it feels like we’re self-sufficient islands barely nodding to other islands. After a while, this feels normal.
On this cupcake day, the recipients of sweet cake and frosting smiled, laughed, perhaps spoke. They seemed genuinely friendly, engaged, caring. They were shocked out of their separate island-selves, instead perhaps feeling their hearts thaw as another stranger passed out sweets.
Dozens of smiles sparkled all around, the day’s worries and cares momentarily forgotten.
My smile sparkled later in the day as I admired the photos and heard the enthusiasm in my daughter’s voice.
That, dear reader, made the whole experience extra special. Much more special than the two seconds of TV “fame”.
You can look at the photos and witness the givers and receivers smiling. They were sharing, engaging, taking a moment in a busy day to pause and exchange.
To give and to receive.
Sure, you could say that the movie promoters were attempting to get something in exchange for their free cupcakes. You could say they really wanted folks to remember the name of their movie when it comes out in July. That is undoubtedly true.
(The name of the movie is “People Like Us.” If you click the link you can view the infamous cupcakes under the “Celebrate” tab.)
But I like the fact that my daughter felt genuine happiness as she smiled and spoke to so many strangers, passersby, random tourists visiting the TV site. She felt the joy of giving. And the cupcake recipients laughed, chatted, grinned, smiled, said “thank you”.
Doesn’t it make you want to smile more often as you walk down the street? Give the gift of your smile, your nod, your casual passing…to honor the presence of another person instead of remaining lost in thought or busy in daily routine? To acknowledge the presence of another person just like you.
People just like us…
How about we keep our eyes open this week for an opportunity to give? Perhaps simply a smile or a friendly “Hello, how are you doing?” Perhaps we’ll encounter situations where we feel comfortable to pause, to engage, to be present with another person or situation. Perhaps we won’t hurry by, lost in our own thoughts and busyness.
I know I’m going to keep my eyes wider open for opportunities to slow down and share. Are you readers game? Can you divulge an incident where you recently shared of yourself and received big smiles in return?
And finally, another big thank you to my cupcake girl for letting me post this story!