After a particularly trying week watching my daughter struggle through different rages and at a loss as to how to help her, I was thrown a life vest. Yesterday a perfect stranger showed my daughter and to be quite honest, me, something I didn’t have the capability of exhibiting at the moment. He showed us kindness. Let me explain…
We were standing in line to get on a train to drop us off at an Easter egg hunt. The cost was $5/child. Before we had left the house, I had grabbed $20 in cash in case credit cards were not accepted. Now standing in line with both of my young kids, little man asleep in the stroller, that $20 was nowhere to be found. I had exactly $5 in cash and change in my wallet and a credit card. I mentioned to my daughter that I couldn’t find the $20 and I might need to run in and pay by credit card. That was fine, however the line for the train was really long and losing our spot would have significantly cut down our time to eat and enjoy some of the inside activities, including a pic with the Easter bunny. My sweet girl offered her own wallet and money and unfortunately that had about a total of $1 in change. I searched my diaper bag for my emergency stash of cash (long gone from some time before of forgotten cash), and as I was alone with my kiddos since the hubby was away, I thought oh well we’ll have to just lose our spot and go inside to pay.
The ticket man came by and after finishing with the family in front of us, he came over to me and I asked if I could use my credit card. He said sure and that he could watch the kids while I ran in. The gesture was very sweet, but I wasn’t comfortable leaving the kids with a stranger. As I was just about to leave the line and go in, the father of the family in front of me offered to pay for my kids. I was shocked and said “Oh no, you don’t have to do that” and he said “It’s no big deal and I’ve been without cash before, we got it” or something along those lines in a very understanding and kind manner.
My daughter was there for all of it. Her 8-year-old brain processing how kind this man was and we were able to talk about it. At a time when she is struggling with temper tantrums you would expect to see in a 3-year-old and myself struggling with how to control my own temper in response, I feel like we were thrown a life vest. Somehow in some way, the world knew we needed saving. And our personal life vest came in the form of a kind man with $10 to spare when he saw a kindness was needed.
The full force of his action to help us out did not hit me until today. I talked with my daughter after another rough morning on her way into school. I challenged her to do something kind today and I would do the same and we could talk about it tonight. She smiled. All the way up to her eyes. She mentioned how kind the man was from yesterday. She has such a beautiful, radiant smile… it was wonderful to see it and know her day got better from that moment on.
I came to work and thought about how much impact kindness has on people, through both small acts and large. I thought about the day through a different lens… how my daughter gave her 1-year-old brother an Easter egg she found because he didn’t have many in his bucket. I thought about how she plays with him at home by dragging him around on a parachute because it makes him smile. I thought about how she ran to her Dad and gave him a huge hug when he got home from his trip last night. I thought about how she dyed an Easter egg for her Grammy and one for the Easter Bunny too. I thought about the “I love you Mama” notes she writes me. She has so much to give inside and sometimes it gets trapped. We don’t know why, and we don’t know how to always help her. Sometimes she needs me more than I feel I have inside to give. I need to reach down and show her the kindness she needs in this world. It’s how I need to throw her a life vest and help keep her afloat.
Thank you to the kind man in line yesterday. You reminded me how much good there is in the world and how we all need to throw someone a life vest sometimes. My turn. #Kindnessboomerang