Monday Mitzvahs: Mouse Cookies

One of my favorite children’s books is If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff.  It is about a mouse and a little boy.   The mouse asks for a cookie and when the boy gives it to him, the mouse asks for a glass of milk, a straw,a napkin for his milk mustache and on and on…until at the end the whole thing comes full circle with the mouse asking for a cookie again, and the narrator saying, If you give a mouse a cookie. . .

Drawn by Stuart Orr
Drawn by Stuart Orr

Sometimes I defeat my own plans for doing service because I run a “give a mouse a cookie” scenario in my mind and defeat myself before I start.  Do you do that too?  I mean for example, I think of writing a note to one of my children…no special reason just a small act of service to tell them I love them.

It seems like a great idea, but what should I write it on?  I couldn’t just write it on any scrap of paper, I need some stationery! Oh and I should cut the edges with those cool craft scissors (never mind that I don’t have any…)  And where to put it once I write it?  Under their pillow?  In their lunch?  Oh wait, I wish I had a cool lunch bag.  And if I am going to put it in their lunch wouldn’t it be great if I also added a cookie?  And so forth. . .

Stop the madness!  –Excuse me while I take a moment to write a note of love and “I’m proud of you” on the back of this receipt I have lying here and slip it into my son’s school book…you can’t put cookies in books, so that should keep me safe.

In other words, don’t “mouse cookie” yourself out of doing small acts of kindness…just keep it simple and do it!

Monday Mitzvahs was inspired by Linda Cohen and her book 1000 Mitzvahs.  You can learn more about her here on Facebook.  Or read her book!



  1. Leslie, this is wonderful advice. I can’t count how many times my Sweetheart has pointed out this creative genius in me. Thank you!!!

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