Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers

We had two encounters with very kind strangers today. The kind of encounters that not only renew your overall faith in people but make you vow to try to be kinder to strangers yourself.

First, on our way into Panera for lunch, Lucas's hand got hit by the door. It didn't close on him, but almost did. Lucas started wailing. A man was walking in right behind us and saw the entire thing. He asked if Lucas was okay and then went into the restaurant. To be honest, I would have judged him as someone who wouldn't have given us a second thought. He was in his 30s and was wearing very hip clothing (just the fact that I can't adequately describe his clothes better than that shows you how totally un-hip I am these days!). But, by the time I got Lucas calmed down and started inside to get some ice from the soda dispenser (all I could think to do) he had gone to the counter and had gotten some ice in a little baggie for us. It was so unexpected and completely appreciated.

After Panera, Lucas and I hit up the 'ole Safeway for a grocery store run. As usual, Lucas begged for a toy and, as usual, I gave in. For most of the trip around the store, he was holding two different $1.99 matchbox cars but I repeated several times that he was only getting one and would have to choose. He finally chose and then, of course, regretted it and started begging for the other car as soon as we were through check-out.

Too late, Buddy.

I stopped at the ATM on the way out and he was throwing a not-quite-full-fledged tantrum about wanting the other car. I was ignoring him. About that time, an older gentleman came up and tried to say hello to Lucas. Honestly, I was a little annoyed. Couldn't he see that Lucas was in no state to be polite to a stranger? I finished my transaction and he launched into a story about Opie and Andy from the show Mayberry. I'm thinking, seriously, I just want to get to my car and unload the groceries and Lucas into it!

He continued about an episode where Opie's friend taught him to throw a "fit" so Opie could get a new bike. Long story short, Andy just ignored Opie and he eventually wore himself out and later reported to his friend that "fits" just weren't worth the effort.

The man said that Lucas was a really cute kid and even though these times were hard they sure do go by quickly. After all, his son was about 3 years old just a few months ago and now he's 16!

By the end of our conversation, Lucas was smiling and laughing. And so was I.

Thanks for the reminders, Sirs.

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

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