There is so much I could say about what happened in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, December 14, 2012.
But the words seem so empty, even when I try to type them. Even when I try to think them.
I can’t bear to think about those children and teachers and staff members. I can still hardly go to Janie’s school, especially, without imaging it happening there. Him walking in the front door of her school — the only one that is unlocked during the day. Him entering the office. Our office. Him walking down the long hallway of our school. Our teachers protecting our children. My child. It’s unthinkable and completely realistic, all in the same moment.
I didn’t tell the girls about the tragedy in Newtown. I could hardly wrap my own mind around it, let alone find a way to explain such a senseless act to my very literal 5- and 8-year old girls. I waited to see if they would find out, a cowardly move for sure, and they didn’t. Janie was, thankfully, a bit too young to have friends at school buzzing about it, and I don’t think I would have included Meg in on the conversation, even if I did feel the need to tell Janie.
via the 26 Acts of Kindness Facebook page.
What we did talk to them about was the #26Acts movement that came from the Newtown tragedy. I didn’t hear Ann Curry say this directly, but I quickly became enamored with the stories behind it — that people were putting kindness into action, in the name of the 26 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary. From big things to small — taping some quarters on a vending machine for the next person to find, paying for another person’s gas, leaving an 100% tip for their server at dinner, delivering homemade baked goods to teachers, homeless shelters, elderly neighbors and fire stations, leaving a kind note taped to the ATM to raise someone’s spirits. The concept was simple — doing something kind, often anonymously, without expecting anything in return and leaving a note asking that person to pay the kindness forward.
When I found out that Cupcake Royale had a Random Acts of Cupcakes program, I knew that they were the perfect way to spread our own 26 acts of kindness in honor of the victims at Sandy Hook. And, they were happy to play along, providing us with 26 individually packaged cupcakes (Dance Party and Triple Threat, in case you want to drool…) for us to hand out around Seattle… 26 Acts of kindness. 26 Random acts of cupcakes. Anyway you looked at it, there were warm, fuzzy feelings.
First things first, we headed to Cupcake Royale’s Ballard location to pick up our cupcakes… And possibly a few for ourselves too!
Where Everett had to show everyone his beloved Cupcake Royale Deathcake tattoos. He even shows them to strangers. Let me rephrase that — to every stranger that makes eye contact with him. (more on those deathcakes closer to valentine’s day. but let me say this… you’re not going to want to share. even with your valentine.)
And, we were ready to go!
Side note: 26 cupcakes are far heavier than you would expect.
The note that we handed out with every cupcake. Because having a stranger hand you a cupcake is weird enough without a little explanation to go with it.
We decided to head to the Seattle Center as our first stop and I’m glad we did. The perfect place to spread a little cupcake love from this iconic Seattle company.
This cute little girl didn’t say much, but devoured her Dance Party cupcake in mere minutes. We passed them as we were leaving and she was passed out in her mom’s arms — cupcake coma, I suppose!
I handed a cupcake to one of the men in this picture because he was the least smiley of the group. As with most of the cupcakes, all I said was “Happy New Year” and walked away. Most people were receptive, but confused. I loved looking back and seeing them all leaning in to read the description…
These gals were tickled about their Random Act of Cupcake. Well, the mom was. The daughter was totally embarrassed, which made it even better, in my opinion.
Two of my cupcake assistants. The little one was pretty annoyed that those 26 cupcakes weren’t for him. I suppose 2-1/2 is still a little young to grasp the whole “giving back” concept.
I couldn’t get a picture of every cupcake recipient, like I was hoping to. Sometimes, the hand-off was too quick. Sometimes it was too awkward. Sometimes it just wasn’t appropriate and seemed to take away from the simplicity of the gesture of giving the cupcakes out in the first place, so after a while, I just put my phone in my pocket and lived in the sweetness of the moment. I had tears in my eyes walking away from more than one homeless man who we gave cupcakes to at the Seattle Center. All of whom were grateful and kind and gave me big smiles in return. I also loved slipping a cupcake to a couple who was obviously in the midst of a heated argument… and pleased to see them with smiles on their faces when peeked back as I walked away. Some people didn’t want the cupcake and looked at us like we were crazy (we are.) and that was fine too — I hope that the infectious smiles of my kids and our happy new year wishes worked on their heart a tiny bit. Who knows… maybe next time they’ll take the cupcake and even smile back.
I’m hoping that, for our family, our acts of kindness won’t stop with these 26 cupcakes. Today, especially in light of the new year, I found myself looking for people, as we were out and about, who could use a little bit of extra kindness in their lives — strangers, friends, Facebook acquaintances… Cupcakes are only the beginning.
Have you done any random acts of kindness in honor of the Sandy Hook Elementary victims or just because? I want to hear every little detail…
I can’t say enough thanks to the team at Cupcake Royale for indulging my 26 Acts of Kindness vision and providing the cupcakes. I’m grateful to get the chance to work with amazing companies, such as Cupcake Royale, who share the same vision for the world we live in. Big frosting kiss to you all!