Cupcake Icing

I watched a first grade teacher use a napkin to remove the frosting from a cupcake for one of her students. “He doesn’t like the icing,” she explained as I gaped.

She gracefully made her way through rows of desks distributing the treats, but also straightening papers, correcting speech, adjudicating disputes–all with an unflappable manner that displayed confidence in the children.

Is this our work, to preside over a community like this, to nurture and govern it?

How much energy do we spend on cupcake icing?


6 thoughts on “Cupcake Icing

  1. At coffee hour, after church, I noticed that a few cupcakes had an unappetizing, lumpy glaze on them rather than colorful, fluffy swirls. On closer inspection, I shuttered to realise that the icing had been licked off. And the reason was my five year old son. He was ahead of me, walking down the table, picking up the cupcakes, licking off the icing, then setting the cupcakes back on the tray.

    Some kids take care of their own icing. And we can learn from that too. Back then my son instinctively knew that cake made him sick, before he was diagnosed a celiac, but the icing was, well, the icing on the cake.

  2. It’s about the love, don’t you think? She loves her little student enough to know what he likes and wants. And she respects and empathized these things enough to take an action on his behalf.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all do that for each other? Do respect and empathize enough with our peers to honor these preferences and dislikes, and make the party a little better?

    • But what if half the class doesn’t like the frosting? That’s where my mind goes right away. And when do we expect people to deal with their own frosting? (I’m really stretching the metaphor now)

  3. maybe it has to stay loose…And if half the kids raise their hands and ask to have their frosting removed, then the teacher can teach everyone. But we can love the problem that’s in front of us and not fear all the problems to come.

    I say it like I actually have expertise at this. I’m learning to try. Maybe if we start with love, empathy and warmth, the solutions will come. Or the problems without solutions will seem smaller.

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