bottled sunshine, now possible with my smartphone.

Typically, I don’t get too worked up about all the technological developments and new gadgets on the market. I actually tend to shy away from it all for the most part. (I’d much rather type a letter to a friend on my typewriter than on my laptop.)

Today, however, I realized that my smartphone has succeeded in bottling sunshine, something I have been trying to figure out since childhood. Its true. I think I should call a scientific journal or something to report my findings.

Time for another story!

So I met one of my best friends, whom I will call ‘Elizabeth’, at age 4, on the first day of kingergarten. She had just moved and didn’t know anyone, so our teacher placed her at the red table, next to a overly talkative and friendly yours truly, who had known all the kids in the class since she was 1. (Small town.) Needless to say, we were fast friends.

Flash forward 21 years later. Elizabeth has been teaching kindergarten for a few years and I have always made a point to come into her classes for an afternoon or two whenever I was back in Ohio. This year, though, I am back in Ohio and live close enough that I am able to spend every other Friday in her classroom, helping out with whatever she needs help with. This is always the highlight of my week.

By now, the kids have figured out that I am their age at heart (they think I am 11 years old max) and we get pretty excited when we see each other. They are great.

After a few months volunteering in the classroom, I would find myself be in the middle of a long work night, after a long day of school behind me and another full day ahead, and I would think, “If only I could be re-energized by those kids right now…”

It then occurred to me that I could attempt to bottle this joy in the form of recording it on my phone.

See Example A of my first successful attempt to bottle sunshine. I am walking into their classroom. (I’ve cut out the video and cut the audio of these to take out names to keep these little ones well insulated and private. Hence the reason for their teacher’s name change.)

Example A:
kindergarten #1

Now, Example B makes me smile for the amount of wonderfulness that can be crammed into 64 seconds. I actually tried to stop recording but failed. Thank goodness. I walk into their class, spend 20 seconds getting 25 tiny hugs. They then dispense with formalities and begin telling me about getting casts off, showing me the cool stick-on tattoos they have, asking me to help them come up with a word that starts with ‘C’ and deducing that my name starts with a ‘K.’ I love these kids and I have played this audio at my most utterly exhausted of moments, remembered the hugs and smiles and goofiness, and have yet to not smile/giggle.

Example B:
kindergarten #2

Example C is even mushier for me. My friend Elizabeth recently had surgery and will be out for at least two weeks recovering. I don’t think she has ever, in her life, taken a sick day. (We are raised to be invincibly tough in our hometown. She was trying to do squats the day after her surgery.) Needless to say, its killing her to be home from work. She is so unbelievably dedicated to her job and students that its truly torture. On Tuesday, I went in to her class to have my tiny friends sign a card for her and today I went to their Valentine’s Day party to drop off my treats for them and Elizabeth’s.

While there, I filmed a video from them, to her. So she can see her kids. She can see them enjoying a party that she worked hard to plan, she can see them behaving for their substitute (sort of), and can see their smiling faces and hear them say hi and that they miss her and hope that she feels better soon. That is my Example C. I won’t share this video/audio, but I will tell you that it would melt you into a puddle of candy hearts. I rewatched it and got super mushy.

So three successful attempts to bottle sunshine thus far. I will keep trying before I formally publish these scientific findings. I am just pretty excited about it.

So, no really great takeaway here. I am sure every single one of you realized a few years ago that if your phone takes video, it an capture some special moments.

I just wanted to share this lovely sunny moment with you as we head into the weekend. (:


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