A little kindness

Some times it’s shocking to receive kindness from strangers.  We’re so used to the rudeness and selfishness of others.  Like the woman who nearly backed up into the boys and I as we walked through the parking lot.  She started backing out just as we were dead-center behind her.  (“It was at a funny angle.” “It’s behind you Tyrone. Whenever you reverse, things come from behind you.”)  Luckily she was slow, and I was able to push the boys in front of me and jumped out of the way.  If I hadn’t had Tornado A in my arms, I would’ve kicked her car to scare her.  I don’t think the woman ever saw us.

I’m careful in parking lots.  Cars are bigger; the boys are my responsibility. Even so, I claimed it as my fault when a SUV nearly hit us as we crossed the parking lot.  We were cutting through the spaces at a diagonal.  I was trying to save time, but that wasn’t worth the sacrifice.  The woman driving the SUV was talking on her cell phone when she nearly clipped us.  I sighed and chalked it to my stupidity and moved my ducklings along.

As I searched for the perfect bunch of broccoli, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to see the woman from the SUV behind me.  Crap. What now?

The Woman: I’m so glad I found you.  I’m so sorry for nearly hitting you.  I just wanted to apologize.  And my, look how handsome your boys are.  Hi, boys!

Me: Um, uh.  No, it was my fault.  I was cutting through the parking lot.  We must have been hard to see.  I’m usually much more careful.

The Woman: Well, I was driving too fast and on that stupid phone.  People walk through parking lots.  You can’t be too careful.  I hate to think what could have happened.  I’m sorry.

Me: I guess we’ll both take responsibility and be more careful in the future.

The Woman: Fine.  Have a great day!

Me: You too!

Um, weird.

Later I tried to put my groceries on the conveyor belt as Tornado A was bound and determined to stand up in the seat of the cart.  He was quite proud of himself.  I had visions of him landing on his head on the hard, cold floor.  I sat him down with a firm “no” and return to put another item or two on the belt to turn to repeat the process all over again.

A woman pulled her cart behind me.  She watched the scene and said goodbye to her friend on her cell phone.  When I turned back to Tornado A, she had her hands out to catch him as he stood.

A Woman: No, no, little guy.  Careful.

Me: Thanks.

Giving up on speed and efficiency, giving in to Tornado A to be in my arms (Something that will bite me in the ass in later shopping adventures), I picked Tornado A up and set him on my hip.

A Woman: If it’s all right with you and he lets me, I can hold him for you.

She held out her arms.  Tornado A smiled and dove for her.  My clingy mama’s boy went to a complete stranger, and no, she didn’t look a thing like me or any other woman who holds him frequently.

Me: Sure, thanks.

Though I was a little wary of letting a stranger hold my baby, I threw the rest of my food on to the belt and moved the cart down.  I reached for Tornado A who looked at me, not moving towards me.  I pulled him out of the woman’s arms.

Me: Thank you.

A woman: (chuckling) I know how it is.  I had a baby and a toddler and one in school.

Me: Me too.

A woman: It was nice to hold a baby.

Me: Well, thank you again.  He apparently liked you.  He doesn’t usually go to other people easily and he usually comes back to me in a heartbeat.  So congratulations.  He likes you.

A woman: Wonderful.

Sometimes we forget people still are kind to strangers.

9 Responses to “A little kindness”

  1. TheKitchenWitch Says:

    I’m so glad you found some kindness out there–sometimes it can be so discouraging and people can be cranks!

  2. jc Says:

    Funny thing at the grocery store. A kid ran up to me from nowhere with his arms wide open. I turned around to see if his mother was behind me. Nope. He was gunning for me! Ok then. I smiled back at him, grabbed his hand (which was sticky and wet thankyouverymuch). As I crouched down to ask him his name, his brother came ripping around the corner with the cart. I sure as hell wasn’t gonna put the kid in the hellride-driver’s cart! The kid sat down next to my feet and grabbed some plastic thing on the floor to hand to me. It was another minute before the mom came searching for the kids. She looked so frazzled. I saw them out in the parking lot too. The older kid was literally jumping up and down in the back of the SUV.

  3. Babs Says:

    Whew! not sure what I would have said to the woman in the parking lot. you were a good example. A woman at my sons preschool nearly ran us over as she drove up and barely slowed down at the firelane to let her son out. I was waving my arms and yelling “Helllo!!” she just waved happily, like I was just another mom saying good morning. I swear that if she would have had her window down I would have embarased myself with poorly chosen words.

  4. Karyn @ kloppenmum Says:

    I love to hear stories like this. It is so heart-warming to know that people do still care about others, strangers or not.

  5. Ink Says:

    Love this entry. Glad you are ok. Happy for goodness in the world.

  6. D Says:

    So nice when we experience kindness instead of rudeness.. I’ve often thought about offering moms help in the supermarket, but don’t want it to come off the wrong way…

  7. Elastamom Says:

    What a great day! It’s so nice to be reminded of kindness!!!

  8. SassenFrassen Says:

    That’s probably the best thing I’ve read all week! You must have been thrust into some kind of parallel universe featuring fairy godmothers, and maybe even some angels waiting for their wings.

  9. Em Says:

    I was at the grocery with screaming crying kids trying to beg and beg and beg for some skittles. I told them very calmly NO and that they did not earn them because they had not behaved well at all. I continued out the door and off to my car. I was beginning to back out when a woman knocked/tapped on my driver window. I was so startled, rolled down my window and she said “I just wanted to say you are doing an amazing job with your two beautiful babies. I saw you in the store and I thought it was great you did not give into their demands. Too many moms let their kids walk all over them. Well done.” So I thanked her and went on my way. It was nice to hear it from a stranger, luckily she caught me on one of my good days. Bet she wasn’t there the last trip, when the only way out of the store alive was with an opened bag of skittles. 🙂

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