The other day I was up at the Army hospital getting check-ups for Little Man and myself. If you have ever been to Tripler you know that parking can be more than chore, it can be a down right competition to get a decent spot-or a spot at all. I somehow lucked in to a really good spot within minutes of getting there though, a spot right in front of the family clinic. Woohoo!
During our appointments I was thinking of what my good deed for the day could be (yes, I do have to consciously think of these most days, apparently doing good deeds does not come natural to me) and I still hadn't thought of anything by the time we were heading back to the car. Honestly I was a little discouraged. Miss Priss was acting up, Little Man was crying after his shots, and I had just been prescribed three different allergy medicines to try before I go back to the ENT later this month. Anyway, doing a good deed for someone was slipping further and further into the back of my mind at this point.
Then Addi dropped her piece of paper. She dropped it in the middle of the road and before I could blink she had let go of my hand and ran back to the piece of paper that was now floating towards the cars that were heading our way.
I screamed at her to stop, and her little life passed before my eyes and my heart skipped a beat. The cars are going slow since it is parking lot traffic, but she is a little girl and it was a big truck that was coming our way. I honestly don't know how the guy saw her, but he did and he stopped. He motioned for her (she was now standing wide eyed at the reality of how close she came to being ran over) and waved at me that it was okay as I belted out my apologies.
My 'kind act' suddenly popped back into my head at that moment and I almost pushed it back. I didn't really think that something as small as the idea that was emerging to constitute a kind act, that it would really make a difference in someone's life or day. I decided I would go forth with my idea, but I wouldn't count it as my kind act. This all literally happened in a 10 second period.
As #9 started to speed up I kind of waved frantically to flag him down again, you could see the confusion on his face, but I pointed to my car that was only half an isle a way and motioned that I was leaving and he should wait to get my spot. Then I rushed to the car and went into my little routine to get the kids up and out of there.
Addi in the car buckling herself up, diaper bag and any extra's in the front seat, Atlas out of the stroller and in his carseat, Atlas' toys out of the stroller and tucked into the carseat with him. A kiss for Atlas, blow a kiss to Addi. Pack up the stroller, close the trunk, and go. As a mother it's these little, almost robotic routines that help me keep my sanity throughout the day. I wasn't thinking any more of the kind act, I was just thinking about getting in and gone quickly so this man could have my spot and the cars that were starting to line up behind him wouldn't be annoyed.
But as I was folding up the stroller the #9 rolls down his window and pulls up behind my car. I honestly thought he was annoyed I was taking so long and was going to tell me to thanks but no thanks, he would find another spot. I started to say "Sorry it will only be another minute, I'm leaving as soon as I get this in..." when he interrupted me and said "Ma'am, I just wanted to let you know you are awesome. It seems like you are in a routine and it is efficient, I don't think I could do this so quickly with a child and a baby, and I just felt like I needed to tell you that you are doing a good job. Thank you for helping me out with this spot."
I think I stammered a thank you, then quickly got in the car as he backed up again and pulled out so he could claim the spot. I drove the entire way home with my mouth wide open, in awe that he took the time to say that to me. To do a kind act, for me. And he didn't even know I was doing one for him! His words made me decide to count that act as my kindness act for the day, because his words showed me that it really doesn't matter how little the acts are, they still make an impact on people. I don't know if it was my kind act that made him think to say something kind to me, but it could have been, and that's part of what I am hoping for- a chain reaction of kindness- to come out of this journey.
After the time we had had at Tripler, the grouchy mood my kids were in, and the fact that my daughter could have very well died or been seriously injured at least under my watch just then, I was honestly feeling anything but like I was doing a good job at that point. His words made me want to cry, they effected me that much.
So thank you #9, for being kind to me. And thank you, #9, for showing me that the little things count too. It doesn't have to be big, giant, acts of kindness all the time-but those little acts that almost don't seem like they count, they really do.