Monday, December 15, 2008

kindness

I am often touched by seeing others show kindness. It doesn't even have to be directed toward me or my family. I've seen neighbors shovel some one else's sidewalk and had neighbors secretly shovel ours. I've seen people care for or help out with another's children...and had so many friends and neighbors that have watched ours when we've been in a pinch. We've had neighbors help us with home repairs and with carrying in large appliances.

It seems since Gabrielle was born that someone is always asking if I need help getting my kids out to the car or something (I am going to just assume they are being kind...and not that I constantly look like I need help! :) Heehee.) I am so grateful to have such wonderful friends and neighbors that I know I can turn to when I need help...or that are there helping without even being asked.

But the kindness of complete strangers can be just as touching, even if it is just in little things.

Today I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from Gabrielle's 4 month old doctor visit. I bought a few items that we needed and was heading out to my car. Ella had fallen asleep in the grocery cart and Gabrielle was in her car seat in the front of the cart and it had started to snow and was windy and cold. A woman came up as I reached my car and said, "Here, let me help you." I grabbed Ella and put her in the car. She grabbed Gabrielle and handed her to me to put in the car. Then she opened the car trunk and started loading my groceries in the trunk of our van. It only took a minute of her time to help me, and I really could have done it by myself, but it brought tears to my eyes to have someone, a stranger, go out of her way to help me. That, to me, is what Christmas is all about.

Then this afternoon I had promised to pick Michelle up when school ended rather than her going to after school program. I needed to stop for gas and that took forever...the pumps were all taking forever to authorize for some reason, not just mine but all of them. Then I hit EVERY SINGLE red light. So I ended up being about 5 minutes late to get Michelle. I knew she would be crying and worried and cold and upset. I felt terrible...and since I don't have a cell phone there was no way I could let her or her school know that I would be late. When I arrived, she was crying and cold and worried and upset. But a parent of one of her friends in kinder, a parent I've talked to a few times who is really nice, was standing there comforting Michelle and trying to call me. She had promised Michelle that I would come and that she would stay there until I did come. She didn't have to do that, but she wanted to make sure Michelle would be okay and try to make her feel better. I am so grateful for the kindness of others and hope that I, too, will notice when others have a need and will do what I can to help them.