Kindness of Strangers
Our Halloween here was pretty much rained out, so I took Nathan to the local mall to Trick or Treat. C was working, so he offered to keep Mr. Teething Fussypants (Chunky) while we went. I dressed up Nathan in his transformer costume and off we went.
When we arrived, the mall was PACKED. The lines were ridiculous. Each child had to stand in a giant circle that spanned the entire mall and slowly (SLOWLY!) inch toward the next store front where they would receive a single piece of candy or tiny printed coloring sheet. I decided just to take Nathan to the Mall’s playground and then to get a treat at the food court.
I read recently that sugar does not make kids hyper, according to a research study somewhere. I should have taken a video of the playground filled with candy-fueled kids and sent it to the researcher who published that study! These kids where literally ricorcheting off of each other. I tried for a long time to keep track of Nathan in the midst of this buzzing mass of kids, but started to feel motion sickness from it all. It was insane!
A particularly rough-looking couple was staring at me and made me feel nervous, so I decided to get Nathan and go to the food court. We claimed our table and waited for our food. They messed up the order so it took a long time. Finally, I got my Taiwanese food and we sat down to eat.
Nathan got a special drink with these berry-looking things in the bottom. He kept spitting the drink all over the table in his attempt to expel the berries. I told him to stop several times in between my furious attempts to slurp my food as fast as possible before the Toddler Meltdown occurred. He did it again, so I took his drink away. He started screaming that he was so thirsty, but I refused to give him the drink back as to stick to my guns with him. Finally, I let him have a few sips of my water, but he knocked it over and water went all over my table on him. He freaked out and started trying to strip his clothes off right then and there. I closed my eyes for a split second to take a deep breath as to not get angry and make the situation ten times worse.
When I opened them, I was alarmed to see a perfect stranger, a woman a little older than myself, and her older daughter tossing huge handfuls of napkins on the table and mopping up the spill. She had a ton of breast cancer clothing on, so I thought maybe she is dressed as a breast cancer survivor for Halloween. I started to jump and take over the cleaning, but she smiled at me and said, “No sweetie, you just sit there and finish eating. We’ll get this. Just go ahead and eat.” She must have picked up that I am Deaf because she sort of mimed and exaggerated her speech to be extra-clear for me.
I was in shock at this random act of kindness, and it must have shown on my face. I told her thank you so much several times. She just smiled and pointed at the table next to me, saying that she has four kids, including four-year-old twins and totally understands how it is trying to eat and tend to kids at the same time.
She started up a little game with all the kids where they tossed a balloon in the air like a game of volleyball, and invited Nathan to play. This allowed me to finish my soup dinner. I was so very deeply touched by the kindness from this perfect stranger. I thanked God for reminding me that there are still very good people in this world and for sending someone to help me.
I have this thing where if someone does something nice to me, I try to multiply it by returning the favor (if I know them) or by paying it forward twice if I do not know them. So I am on a mission of sorts to look for opportunities to help other moms in public places.
Just had to share this story. 🙂