This is completely off-topic from my normal sugar-and-sweat posts, but I was so appreciative of the small act of kindness that James and I experienced that I want to share it with anyone reading as a reminder, at least to myself, to forget about the aggravating things that complete strangers can do, and remember that for every time something irritating happens, something great can happen.
I rarely wish for my almost 2-year-old son to be older. I know that each day is one that I will never get back, and, even in the midst of incredibly frustrating tantrums (including the epic, never-before-seen-on-this-level one that Chris and I experienced last night), I have to remind myself to not use the words, "if only he was a little older, blah, blah, blah...". BUT, today we experienced such a teachable moment, that I did in fact talk to him about as if his very young mind could grasp, and I found myself wishing he were around 4 or 5 so that he could appreciate what I was telling him.
Okay, so here's what happened. James and I had just finished picking up some groceries at Aldi (super fantastic if you are watching your grocery budget by the way). We were waiting in line to pay when we received our first bit of, let's say, rudeness. However, this was preceded by the gentleman in front of me offering to let a woman who's poor arms were so full go in front of us. She looked back at me, since obviously this meant I had to wait another minute to pay then. I nodded my head at her to go ahead (there are so many times that someone, at Aldi, has been so gracious to let me go ahead when I had James in one arm, and the 10 things that I decided to buy, but had only planned to buy 2, so I didn't bother with a cart). So anyway, she goes ahead, the guy in front of me moves up, and out of nowhere, this guy just parks his cart in front of me. There is no way he was blind and didn't see us! Some time ago I would have stood there huffing and puffing until he noticed how annoyed I was, but no, I took a deep breath, and in the end, another lane opened up, and it wasn't a long wait to pay.
THEN, the same guy just leaves his cart in front of my door in the parking lot. At this point, he clearly saw that I not only had a child I was trying to put in the car, where he had blocked me, but of all places to leave his cart, he put it in front of a car that was clearly being loaded. I just looked at him and shook my head. I could not believe this.
Right then walks the guy who had been in front of me in line (before the other man cut us off) and says, "here, I'll just get that out of the way for you." I smile, say thank you, and he takes the other man's abandoned cart. And then, after I got the groceries loaded and James in his car seat, the guy comes BACK and says, "I know you have a child in your car, why don't I take that up for you." It may seem small, but I was so touched by this, especially since James and I rarely experience any sort of an extra hand when we clearly can use it sometimes. Its not that I think I have any kind of entitlement, but, for example, if I see a mom (or anyone, but especially a parent) struggling to both open a door and get her stroller through at the same time, you better believe I'm helping her out. And there's usually an exchange that goes something like, "wow, thank you so much," with a reply of, "I know its hard to do XYZ by yourself with a kid!"
So then I got into the car, and I said to James, who was just hanging out in his carseat of course, "James, Mommy should not have even wasted the time to be annoyed with that man leaving his cart there. People are going to do things in life that you don't like, and there's nothing we can do about it. But then good things happen, like that man coming to help us with both of the carts. Its so much better to just roll with everything, and know that better things are always on the way."
This was SUCH a teachable moment, but I know that there will be many more. So, I'm sure he's not reading this random mom's blog, but to the man at Aldi today - thank you for reminding me today that people are still capable of these random, but not necessarily small, acts of kindness. It made my day, and to anyone reading, I hope it inspires you to always be on the lookout for how you can help someone out.
That is all! If you made it through all of this, thanks, and I'll see you tomorrow for Fit Friday!