Monday, October 8, 2012

There IS (good) life out there!

Why, oh why do I get a second wind at 8:30 p.m.??

Scott is out of town and I finally got the kids to bed, the trash to the curb and the kitchen cleaned up and JUST when I think I should head upstairs and hit the hay myself, I get into something that keeps me up until 11.  

So tonight, you are the winner and I just have to tell you about two stupendous shopping experiences I had this weekend in the midst of small child chaos that is proof to me that there indeed are WONDERFUL people out there among us.

Our weather is getting cooler, as I'm sure yours is too, so on Friday, I told Elizabeth that she needed to wear long sleeves and long pants to preschool.  Well FOR ONCE she listened and, before I knew it, in she marched with a shirt so short that you could see her belly.  

Trying not to trounce her accomplishment of 1. picking out her own outfit and 2. getting dressed the first time asked, we went in search of something that would keep her belly warm since it was cold outside that morning.  Now, if you know me at all, you know that I am cheap thrifty and do most of my children's shopping at consignment sales.  I see no point in paying full price until they stop getting spaghetti sauce up one side and grass stains down the other.  Therefore, I should have been prepared for this but apparently, I was brain dead during my last shopping trip and failed to realize that my oldest child might grow another size and not be able to wear most of the same clothes she did last year.  *sigh and forehead slap*

No big deal, I thought, and took the whole crew to Once Upon a Child (a local consignment store) after school.  I should tell you that my children call this store The Toy Store because they have toys set out on the sidewalk and there are a couple aisles of books and toys that they love to peruse through.  So in we tromped, Caleb strapped to my chest facing out and Elizabeth and Rachel holding each hand.  We choose several tops and outfits that Elizabeth said she'd wear and then took a walk through the toys and books to see if there were any great deals (sometimes they have TAG books for super cheap).  I left the girls there while I checked out and then subsequently watched as two meltdowns occurred before my eyes when I said, "Let's go."

Elizabeth stomped her feet and told me she did not WANT to leave and Rachel crumpled into a mess on the floor, screaming.  Embarrassed and somewhat disabled with Caleb on me and hauling a large bag of clothes and the diaper bag, I got ahold of each mess of a child and made my way as fast as I could to the door.   Half way to the car, I heard a voice behind me say, "Excuse me.  I think your girls are about the same age as mine."  

I was so embarrassed by the now-flailing children I had in death grips on that I almost couldn't look the sweet woman in the eye.  But seeming to understand, she continued (probably because Caleb was grinning at her).  "I have these fall clothes that they (the store) didn't need and I'm just going to take them to Goodwill if you don't want them.  Could you use them?"  

She wouldn't take any money and proceeded to hand me a good $50 worth of clothes that would fit Rachel - all soft cotton in fun prints that she will love.  My embarrassment disappeared, replaced by a gratitude and humbleness in her actions.  She literally saved by day, and I doubt if she even realized it. 

Much like my Publix cashier tonight at the grocery store.  

I thought I would go shopping while Elizabeth was at choir, so I once again put Caleb in the front pack and Rachel in the cart and started getting my goods.  I had quite a few coupons and a good sized list.  Luckily, the kids were agreeable, but it was the end of the day and I was tired.  And I picked a new cashier.  

Who didn't like coupons.

He took my stack and then proceeded to spread them out in front of him.

"How many toothpastes did you get?  How about tissues?  How many of those?"

I was putting my list back in my bag when I noticed the note, written in Sharpie and circled twice at the top to get dog food.  I was stuck.  I had not gotten dog food. Did I go out to the car and load up the groceries and come back in for it?  Do I come back out tomorrow with all three kids and get it?  

So putting on as sweet a face as you can with a six month old drooling in front of you, I asked the cashier if I could just run back and get the dog food while he was figuring out my coupons.  

Of course he said "of course" because it's Publix and they are wonderful so I raced back and hossed the 20 lb bag of Purina onto the bottom of the cart.  (Why yes, with a baby on my of the many reasons I lift weights...ha!)  Making my way back to the lane, the manager had stopped three ladies from coming into line so I could come back up.  The bagger grabbed the bag before I could bend over and scanned it and the cashier simply smiled as I handed him an additional coupon for the dog food.  

Getting in the car, I was so thankful that they made a stressful situation easy by not criticizing and handling me with love.  I don't even know if they realized how much it meant - in fact, I'm sure the guy is complaining to his wife right now about the crazy, frazzled woman with the million coupons and the little girl with cookie remnants all over her face.  Which once again reminds me, how big a difference can I make by simply being kind and doing something little for someone...or anyone?

I would love to hear your stories of others doing little things for you that made a difference in your day.  Doesn't that feel amazing?  Trying to think of good things?  Share away!

Have a good night!

1 comment:

  1. It's so true, Annie... it makes a huge difference to choose kindness, even if we feel annoyed. Being annoyed creates an annoyed ripple in the universe, while being kind gives others the strength and positive outlook to pass it on.