When I was younger I knew that I knew that I knew that one day…
…I was going to change the world.
I didn’t have specific change-the-world plans.
No direct line on world peace.
No hidden genome discovery that would cure the world of cancer.
No secret formula to save the planet from an asteroid.
I just wanted to make a difference.
I wanted to make this wonderful, amazing, incredible journey that we are all on a little brighter along the way.
Life happened and I got busy and got married and had four kids and those world-changing dreams seemed lost in the crowd.
This past week I spent running between cheerleading camp and drill team camp. Both camps were the same week and each twin needed mascara and red lipstick and new shorts and hair ties and new shoes.
And a ride.
I was waiting in the car yesterday take Whitney to drill team camp.
We were running late.
(total story aside: I want you to think that this is unusual. But we never met an extra five minutes that we didn’t like.)
She came running out to the car with her hands full of lunch. She didn’t have time to pack it, so it was all precariously balanced in her arms.
There was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and an apple and a bottle of water and a granola bar and a small package of goldfish held tightly between her pinky and her middle finger and a brown paper sack waiting to hold the lunch. She pushed open the door with her foot and climbed into the car.
I watched the entire process with a smile on my face.
“Are you ready?” I asked her. “Are you carrying your lunch or is your lunch carrying you?”
(total story aside: I crack myself up with my mom jokes.)
“Yes,” she giggled. “I’m ready for camp.”
I put the car in reverse and started to back out of the driveway.
“Wait, Mom,” she said with her blue eyes open wide. “Wait. I have something I want to do. I know we’re late, but can you hold on for one more minute?” And without a backward glance, she bounded out of the car and into the house.
She was only gone a minute and then suddenly the back door opened and there stood my tiny little blonde haired dancer with her arms doubly full of lunch.
Two sandwiches. Two granola bars. Two apples. Two water bottles. Two tiny packages of goldfish.
And two brown paper bags.
I looked at her with a confused look.
“Are you packing a lunch for tomorrow?” I asked her.
“No, mom,” she said. “See my friend hasn’t been here all week and I’m worried about her and she might not know that we need a lunch and then she wouldn’t have anything to eat and she’d be sad and she’d be hungry. So I thought I would just pack two.”
I thought about that lunch all the way to drill team camp and all the way home.
Such a simple gesture.
One that only took a minute.
And yet? One that would make the biggest of differences in one person’s afternoon.
Maybe that’s what changing the world is all about. Not the giant, loud, overblown gestures. Not the moments of glory or the spotlight or the fanfare or going all Mount Everest and climbing to the top of the mountain and sticking a flag in it for all the world to see.
Maybe instead the world is changed in the simple moments.
The kind moments.
The thoughtful moments.
The smile at someone who’s having a bad day or the letting someone else go ahead of you in line or listening to someone else who needs to be heard or taking the time to think of someone else first.
I always thought I was going to change the world.
But instead? I think my children are changing it for me…
…one lunch at a time.