celebrate kindness

Posts Tagged ‘baby

Today as I was waiting in line at Kroger to purchase flowers for my nieces’ dance recital, the gal waiting behind me struck up a conversation.  It always amazes me how different people are in this world.  Some individuals won’t even make eye contact with a stranger, much less speak to them.  Others, like myself, think nothing of chatting with someone they’ve never met (and probably will never see again.)

If someone had observed us, you might have thought we were acquaintances.  Co-workers.  Maybe even friends.  We chatted about discounted flowers.  She was buying fresh flowers for her mom’s grave, but it wasn’t a somber occasion, just a matter-of-fact statement of what she was planning to do.  “I promised my mom I would NEVER bring her fake flowers… I just can’t disrespect her wishes.”   We talked about the weather.  Other grocery stores.  All of a sudden, my vision moved from her face to her enlarged belly, peeking below the bouquet of flowers she held in her hands.  “Oh my goodness – you’re pregnant!” I exclaimed, stating the obvious.  A small-boned lady with gorgeously straightened blond hair (can you hear the underlying strains of envy in my description of her beauty?  Ha!), it was funny that I had completely missed the undeniable shape of a baby belly facing me.  She laughed at my surprise as I added, “Happy belated Mother’s Day!” (remembering the joy one of my pregnant friends received when a complete stranger said the same to her.)

All of a sudden, it was my turn to have my flowers arranged and wrapped.  I stepped to the side and motioned for the mom-to-be to go ahead of me in line.  “Are you sure?” she asked.  “Of course!  I have more flowers than you and lots of time.  You go ahead!”  We continued our conversation, talking about her pregnancy.  I learned that she was due in September, she was having a boy, and her other son was born 11 years ago.  “I was hoping for a girl, but…”  Her weak smile couldn’t hide the completion of her sentence.  Even though I have been blessed with a daughter, I could empathize with the sentiment she dared not speak.

“Awww, you know what that means… you’re going to be blessed with AMAZING daughters-in-law!”  Her smile brightened a bit and I leaned towards her and whispered, “And just WAIT until you meet your granddaughters… you will be able to spoil them to death with no guilt whatsoever!!”  She laughed at my premonition, her bright smile shining once again.  As she gathered her finished flowers, she turned to me and said, “You know, I never thought about it that way, but you just might be right!”  I smiled back and our exchange was done.

And I never even asked her name.

Today’s Random Act of Kindness is dedicated to Allison Wyatt, age 6, who “delighted in showing people how much she cared.”  In a statement to People magazine, her parents said, “Allison made the world a better place… she would often surprise us with random acts of kindness.”  Maybe the gal I met today will have a daughter-in-law or a granddaughter just like Allison.  We could always use a little more brightness in this dark world.

I didn’t get a chance to take a photo of the mom-to-be, so here’s a photo of the flowers I bought instead, lol.

recitalflowers

Be blessed dear friends and keep passing along the joy!

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Do you know someone who has a newborn or infant at home?  If you are a parent, do you remember those days of sleepless nights?  Being the mom of three children, I’ve been down this road several times and each time I thought it would NEVER end.   I was blessed with children who laughed in the face of every parenting book I read.  “Ha, to you,” I imagined them taunting, “I will NOT sleep through the night at six weeks; I will NOT sleep through the night at six months; in fact, I may not even sleep through the night at six YEARS!  BAHAHAHAHAHA!”

Sleep.  What a wonderful time for our bodies to be rejuventated.  Hours and hours of uninterrupted restoration from the stresses of the day.  Unless, of course, you are the parent of an infant.  Your evenings, previously marked by sweet slumber, are now timed by the clock from one feeding to the next.  If you are lucky enough to close your eyes and drift off for an hour or two, you are suddenly awakened by the shrill cries of a special little someone demanding, “FEED ME!!”  Then, in your bleary state of consciousness, you get the baby, change the baby, feed the baby (not counting the time it takes to make or heat a bottle if you are bottle feeding) then start the cycle all over again.  (And that’s if the baby goes back to sleep after feeding!)

I remember those days all too well.  In fact, just typing the paragraph above exhausted me!  How on EARTH do we, as parents, survive those first few months?  It is a small sacrifice to pay for the joys of having a child and over time the pain of sleepless nights does fade to a weathered snapshot we place in our mental scrapbooks.  But is there anything we can do DURING the process to make it a little easier?

Which brings me to my next Act of Kindness.  A dear friend of mine is living this reality right now.  She. Is. Tired.  I know she would never ask for help (and living several hours away, she wouldn’t feel comfortable with me keeping her baby for a weekend), so instead of waiting for an invitation, I simply made the decision to visit her for an overnight stay and bless her and her husband with one night of uninterrupted sleep.

I arrived in the evening, after dinner time, and told them of my plans.  “Please don’t go to any extra trouble – I can sleep on the sofa!”  A pillow and a blanket was all I needed.  The baby was simply precious.  Big brown eyes staring up at me, little fingers grasping my hand as I held the bottle to his mouth… oh, the joy!  Seven hours and two bottles later, the house was silent as I rocked this little jewel back to sleep, just in time to see the sunrise.

As an extra act of kindness, I decided to make breakfast for the family.  Ham and cheese omelets.  Pancakes.  The works.  It was such a blessing to ME to surprise my friends with not only a full night’s sleep, but a full stomach as well.

What did this Act of Kindness cost me?  A few hours of lost sleep.  The bottles were made with formula they had already purchased.  The breakfast was made with ingredients found in their fridge and pantry.  My friends woke up refreshed.  Restored.  Rejuvenated.  All from a simple act of kindness.

If you see a parent today who looks a bit weary, think of a way you could bless them.  Kindness is free!  A smile, a word of encouragement… such simple things that make a difference.  Be blessed my friends and pay it forward!  🙂


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