When I was younger, first grade to be exact, I remember walking into class one day and seeing a friend of mine sitting in the back row of the classroom with a pretty bouquet of flowers on his desk. Walking up to him, I asked what they were for, but he simply responded with “…it’s a surprise.”
Well, as a kid, that is just music to the ears. After all who doesn’t like a surprise. But the surprise wasn’t for me, I didn’t even like flowers. Still, I found myself wondering what kind of surprise would involve a boy and flowers. Obviously he intended them for a girl, but in first grade girls had “cooties”. So I sat there for what seemed like an eternity, though it was probably more like 10 minutes. By then, the teacher had come in and gotten herself settled, and began looking around the classroom while preparing for attendance.
She began calling names and it was almost like in a movie. “The” girl walked in, and you could see the boy’s eyes light up. She sat in front of him, so it was only a matter of her walking 25 feet to the desk. But the teacher was only 12 feet away, and walking in the same direction. The boy didn’t even notice the teacher walking in his direction, as he was clearly focused on the girl. He snapped out of his daze when the teacher called his name while in front of his desk. He looked up and said, “here!” The teacher looked down and saw him holding the flowers in his hand, and took them from him. She had mistaken his “here” of attendance as a “here” of presenting a gift.
Now we were all around six years old and, for the most part, didn’t like to act in any way that would “rock the boat.” Thinking quickly and seeing what was happening, he shifted gears to try and be smooth, or at least as smooth as any 6 year old can be. He told the teacher that he had picked them out for her.
It made the teacher’s day, and though he felt crushed that his gift was given away to the wrong person, it was handled quite well.
Of course fear, or respect for authority is what made him behave the way he did. Everyone has been in a similar situation, though, where our intentions were misconstrued. Some people are better at handling these situations than others. I have found that making more of an effort to be “in the moment” has helped me greatly with handling these events. I’ll continue to work on this since it seems to be the recipe for success and one of the keys to happiness.
Onward and Upward!