Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kind Strangers

Today I took the boys to Michaels to pick up something crafty for my Webelos to do for Scouts tonight. I am so not crafty. It was a struggle. I kept wandering around the store looking at things and wondering what you do with them.

I ended up picking up some clear plastic Christmas tree bulbs and some paint. A friend of mine made me one of those about a decade ago and it was cute and sounded fairly simple. We put the paint colors inside and shook them up till it was all covered.

Anyway, it took me quite a while to find and decide on this "art" project. Navigating the narrow aisles of Michaels with a 2.5 year old who is bored and sleep deprived (up twice last night and wouldn't nap today) and an 8 month old who keeps getting poked by the bored and tired 2 year old... do I really need to say more?

Noble kept screaming and crying because I wouldn't let him grab things off the shelves and I kept having to hold his little hand and tell him to tell that hand not to touch the baby. You get the picture right? So as I was looking at some item, some kind woman heard Noble and came up and started talking to him.

He quieted down wondering who this stranger was talking to him. She asked him if that baby was his brother. She told him how lucky he was to have a nice mama. She even asked him to say "I love mama." :) He wouldn't. But he did quiet down. Then she told him to be a good boy for his mama and she winked at me and pushed her cart away.

Her simple act greatly improved Noble's behavior. Maybe it made him notice that other people notice when you are throwing a tantrum in public. I don't know. In any case, I was grateful for the kindness of stranger who made my day just a little bit easier.

Being a mother with young children has made me very sensitive to how hard it is to do this job sometimes. I have had a few times where my kids were melting down and I was surrounded by people who could help (not strangers) and it was obvious that I could use help but no one offered to help. Those experiences have made me promise myself that whenever I can help some mother with lots of young kids being overwhelmed I will.

Maybe someday I will get to be the kind stranger that charms the crazy 2 year old with a few questions and a bit of attention.


Holly said...

If everyone did little acts of kindness like that, think of how much better the world would be!

On Black Friday, early early morning at Office Depot, I witnessed an elderly couple with a huge ream of paper in their cart talking amongst themselves (in front of the cashier) about how they were going to get it in the car. The cashier didn't offer to help them, so after I made my purchase, I went and found them in the parking lot and put the ream of paper in the car for them. The man said "We will always shop at this store! Thank you for your kindness" and when his wife told him I was a customer and not an employee, he turned back to me and just simply said "God Bless you." It was an act that took me about 60 seconds and was something I could easily do as I am young and strong. To me, it was no big deal. If everyone could do something kind that is "no big deal" to them, but means the world to someone else just once a day, the world could be so much better!!

Cheryl said...

I am so grateful for people who treat struggling Moms/children with kindness rather than judgement.

Carolyn said...

Well I love this! What a wonderful woman that lady is!

Opposite of my experience at Whole Foods with three of my four girls. One of the twins was having a hard time. I was trying to hurry through my list, and get out of there... when an old man came up to me just to say in an ugly way, "that's why you only have one!"

I was shocked and stunned. I didn't know how to respond this man. So I didn't.

Your story makes me feel a lot better!