We have been recipients of such incredible goodwill lately. For all the rough times, only a few days really stand out as feeling like insurmountable holes of despair (sobbing relentlessly as my toddler kicks me and screams that he’s naughty, while the newborn cries hysterically, while my husband has to rush off to work…that was a baaad day…). Even when my dad cut my salary in half because he wanted to teach me a life lesson, even when my mom’s habit of making her personal problems my fault caused me panic attacks, even when some asshole stole our stroller…I’ve mostly felt the wall that is my husband stand behind me, and the love of my little family to make us all survive our mini-crises.
Maybe that’s why the ridiculous random acts of kindness really have stood out to me – because I really don’t feel like we deserve them. There are always people who are in need more than us, so the fact that strangers have treated us so kindly makes me humble.
That’s why one day, when we have the money to do so, we’ll pay it forward.
One day we’ll give something incredibly expensive to almost-strangers like our neighbors did for us.
Our son was playing with the neighborhood kids one day, and my husband was chatting with the father of them. The father took my husband to their garage, where he gave our son a small tricycle that his kids had outgrown. My husband thanked him. Then the father asked if we had a stroller for the new baby, and my husband said no, not yet. The father then gave us two Jeep jogging strollers that his kids had outgrown. He and his wife refused our offer to pay for them, and finally accepted a bottle of wine as thanks. To say that these people are kind is an understatement. They gifted us – without hesitation – more than $600 worth of things for our kids. We were overwhelmed, to be sure.
One day we’ll pay for a meal for strangers in a restaurant.
I wanted to eat dinner at a favorite restaurant today. We are moving out of the area and it was my last chance to eat there for awhile. We planned the meal out with a small budget in mind (utilizing a BOGO deal), put the kids in the car, and headed down. We were definitely the only people there with a toddler and a newborn, and we went early to not disturb the other patrons. After we ordered our meals, our waitress came by with $25 in cash. There was, she said, a gentleman who had just left who had an extra $25 on a gift card that he used to pay for his meal. He wanted “to bless the little family with the two babies” with the extra money. I asked if he was still there, and she said he had already left. I had heard of people doing that for others, but have never had that happen for me before. It was an incredibly sweet gesture. As we left, my husband and I agreed that one day we’d love to do the same.
We joked with the waitress that people usually looked at families in restaurants as pariahs…joking that people would pay $25 for us to leave!
Paying it forward…
Such random acts of kindness, and I don’t feel like we deserve it.