Today at lunch I was helping several kids put the finishing touches on their gifts of writing, and truth be told, I was completing my fifth one as well. In the midst of this mad effort to meet the deadline, my friend who teaches next door knocked on my window. "Are you eating lunch today?" she asked through the glass.
It is our practice to eat together in the team room almost every day. We enjoy each others' company, but there's more to it than that, because while it's true that no one else on the team always eats with us, it is also so that everyone else on the team eats with us sometimes, and we have an unspoken pact to keep that little welcome light of camaraderie burning. Today, however, was one of those rare times when I was not going to make it in for lunch.
I waved my hands desperately, gesturing at the computer and the kids. "I can't!" I replied. My friend nodded and turned toward the team room. A few minutes later she returned with my lunch all warmed up and ready to eat at my desk.
The day tumbled on headlong from there-- teaching, meetings, sub-plans and Tolerance Club after school. I ran several errands on my way home and have spent the evening packing and preparing for our road trip to Buffalo in the morning, but through it all the warm glow of my friend's small kindness has sustained me.