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Tiny kindergarten hands pushed the mayonnaise out of its packet. Its creamy white contents squirted onto the top of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the Longfellow Elementary lunch room. Pickles were added next, then concealed with a second piece of bread.

I stood there at the edge of the lunch table watching in amazement after helping the kindergarten student open the mayonnaise packet.

“That’s a first,” I chuckled to myself. 

“Enjoy your sandwich,” I said enthusiastically to the student and went back to my usual spot near the recycling bins close to the lunchroom doors.

A few minutes later the student ran up to me with a big grin on her face, “It’s good!” she exclaimed and ran back to her seat.

I strode over to her table and knelt down beside her. “You know, you’re an innovator,” I said. “Do you know what that means?”

She shook her head no.

“An innovator is someone who creates something new.”

“What was in your sandwich?” I asked quizzically.

We listed the ingredients together.

“Peanut Butter. Jelly. Mayonnaise. Pickles. Bread.”

I continued, “Nobody has ever made that before you. You’re a food innovator! These special ingredients make your sandwich!”

She laughed and smiled. She liked the idea of it being hers.

And I liked that she was willing to go for it and try something new, even if it involved peanut-butter, mayonnaise, and pickles!