Easter comes early this year, and that means Peep Season starts earlier than usual. For weeks now, every time I go to Shop Rite or CVS, I walk past the Peep display, and I think of Brian. He used to buy Peeps and bring them everywhere. He made #weherelive videos of hanging out with his Peeps on the subway, in Times Square, even lighting a candle at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
There were a lot of reasons for those videos. Firstly, as with everything he did, he wanted to make people laugh, to make people smile, to bring a little joy and levity to everyone’s day. He took the bad dad joke, ‘hangin’ with my Peeps’ quite literally. He challenged himself to make each video more complex, but more importantly, sillier, than the last.
Yesterday, I bought a box of Peeps. I didn’t know what I would do with them. Maybe I’d just wait for them to get stale and chewy, and eat them after Easter. This morning, I looked at the package, thought of Brian, and got very sad. I cried a little, but then, I got inspired. I brought my Peeps outside to play in the snow. We built a snowman together. We tried unsuccessfully to have a snowball fight. And then I came inside and cut out some tiny cardboard snowboards for them.
As I was setting up the photos, and thinking about the silliness of it all, I realized why he really did it. Sure, he wanted to make other people smile. But I think he was mostly doing it for himself. To make himself happier. Or less sad. Or simply less self-focused for a little while.
When we focus on doing something in service of other people’s joy, we bring ourselves a little bit of peace.
And the Peeps really enjoyed it!