Constant acts of kindness

I find that the mundane often meets the extraordinary these days.

Date: Friday, March 7, 2014
11:30am [Read: soon to be collective meltdown time for kiddos.]
 Our little neighborhood
Snow day. Toddler refuses to wear hat, gloves, coat on our walk home from the park. I stop to explain the benefits of wearing warm clothes in front of someone’s home.

Enter an older lady with raspy voice from years of talking. Lady observes toddler from her living room hardly wearing any clothes. Lady runs out to the sidewalk, armed with a blanket for Ayo…

Her: Do you have enough clothes for your child? Please, please take my blanket to keep him warm.
Me: Oh wow, thank you so much!  I actually have a jacket, gloves and hat but getting him to wear them is another story!!
Her: Alright dear, just making sure he was warm…

Date: Monday, March 10, 2014
Time: 10:45am
Place: First: home, then: doc’s office, later: store
Situation: TCKmama hasn’t felt this ill in about five years. Fever, weak, flu-like symptoms, throat feels cut up by shards of glass. Papa is on the other side of the world, on a work trip. Getting to a new doctor is going to be quite the challenge between a wailing, hungry daughter and an active son who is tired of being plopped in front of another YouTube video. Drat! GPS drops us off in front of a fitness center. Finally find road of doc’s office 30 mins late. I call office. Office says they will do all they can to still try and fit me in.

Enter man exiting a bank who watches sick mother run with toddler and teddy bear on hip, infant in stroller and bag around my neck.

Him: Wow, you have your hands full. Where are you trying to go?
Me: 360 South Logan!!!
Him: Let me see.. that way is the 200s block…must be this way. Let’s find it together…here it is, 360 Logan.. good luck!

Enter 50-something female doctor who reads forehead temp and throat swab sample

Her: Dealing with this without your spouse? You must feel terrible. Can we help you arrange a nanny service or something? Here is a prescription for Streptococcus Group A, also known as strep throat. Go to the drive-through pharmacy on Colorado Blvd so you don’t have to unbuckle the kids. And, do you want to feed your daughter now while I play with your son for a bit?

After realizing I would have to wait for prescription, I run to store to pick up a few essential groceries for our really sick toddler friend staying with us at home. Enter Turkish cashier lady.

Her: You look so rough! Can I go through the aisles and help you pick your groceries up?

Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Time: 11:30am. [Read: soon to be collective meltdown time for TCKmama and kiddos.]
Place: Local library
Situation: TCKmama babysits, thus attempts to go to library storytime with Délice in stroller and two toddlers ‘walking’ alongside. Storytime comes to a close. Ayo runs for the steps. Library staff assists in calling him back and playing hide-and-seek with him. He melts down and wants to be in stroller. TCKmama tries to bundle three kids up, lug a huge diaper bag, carry Ayo, push stroller and hold a cute extra munchkin hand.

Enter Mary and Yolanda, two of the sweetest and brightest young library staff you will ever meet.

Them: Can we help you guys out?
[They then proceed to hold a small hand and some belongings and walk with us to the elevator]

Date: Wednesday March 26, 2014
Time: 10:30am [Read: toddler snacks running out. Baby sister more than ready for her first lunch]
Place: Grocery store
Situation: Mama is finished with her groceries. She is just waiting in front of rotisserie chicken for them to be cooked. Wednesday means $3 savings on a delicious freshly cooked chicken… We wait another 20 mins, struggling to entertain ourselves.

Enter a family-man clerk wearing white latex gloves who checks the roasting chicken temperature with a thermometer.

Him: Sorry ma’am, they are going to need another 10 mins.
Me: That’s okay. We can wait… I think! *nervous laugh*
Him: I’m really sorry we weren’t ready in time. Your time is precious in this life phase, that I know. Which chicken would you like me to remove when they are ready? This one is on the house.

Date: Yesterday, Wednesday April 2, 2014
Time: 11:50am. [Read: collective meltdown time for TCKmama and kiddos.]
Place: Grocery store parking area
Situation: Mama weight-lifting her groceries into the car, a heavy carseat and infant within, and strapping in the finger-sucking brother into his carseat. This grocery trip followed our 100 steps of leaving the house with a toddler (minus the potty training element but plus the baby sister)..

Enter a middle-aged gentleman with striking silver hair and one full brown shopping bag.

Him: Hey, can I take your shopping cart back for you? I remember having young kids and always hated leaving them in the car to run the cart back.
Me: Well, it’s this beastly “car cart” that has to be left at the front of the store. It’s okay, I can manage…
Him: It’s really no problem!
Me: [Hears Hallelujah chorus] Oh my goodness, thank you SO MUCH!


For as physically tiring and hectic this season of life is, I receive so much compassion, support and kindness from people who don’t or barely know us. Think about it, these encounters all took place in the past month. They are just some of the mind-blowing (not so random) acts of kindness I experience on a day to day basis as a young mother in the United States. Such are the stories I will tell Ayo and Délice one day when we no longer live stateside. When discussing friendliness and kindness, I will tell them what a rich American heritage they have.

My hope is that they will one day grasp how contagious, powerful and transformational such acts of kindness are. My hope is that they would learn to slow down and also gift perfect strangers with kindness, simply out of the abundance of their hearts.

3 thoughts on “Constant acts of kindness

  1. I’m so glad you made the time to write all this down! What fabulously kind people there are in the world.

  2. You just get solid gold as you carry baby Ayo around. Keep it up. You have gotten a blanket, a free chicken–Simeon only gets eggs, you got money, hide and seek games, grace from the doctor, though the GPS led you astray,

    and all along you realize you are raising a budding police officer. I wouldn’t want to face Ayo at 22 years old stopping me for speeding. Getting me into a Full Nelson. “Joy, Joy!”

    I think that “this too shall pass.” You can’t be a forceful child at 5 years old. Schools wouldn’t put up with it. But he hasn’t had the chance to verbalize properly yet by articulating his life yet. But don’t you just love Ayo and the mother that takes the blows of a battering ram.

    This all originates in the brain. And Ayo loves his mom and dad so dearly, though we were present via Skype when Ayo was put into a corner to be corrected and shouting out, to our absolute laughter, help from little sister Joy. “Joy, Joy, Joy, ” as if she could even walk up and rescue him. That was worth the invention of Skype itself.

    Love you

  3. You have such amazing perspective to stop and recognize these small acts of kindness. Thanks for sharing!

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