Lessons from Strangers

So on this overcast afternoon in Anthem, while at Wal-Mart (Jeanette says that I really shouldn’t say that “W” word around crunchy folk), I found myself in the checkout line with Kaia perched on my hip. She had become a wee bit grumpy from my usual lack of focus in such a huge store. So, on my hip she sat while I sorted through my cart and, one by one, bent over and tossed the items on the checkout conveyer belt…diapers, mangos, laundry detergent, pomegranate juice, a new bra, some donuts (ooops, you didn’t see that), peaches, yogurt…I heard a mama in line behind me mumbling quietly to her son, but kept my head down in the cart while I concentrated on the task at hand. And then, the boy with the little round glasses and sandy blond hair stepped closer to me and gently asked “Can I help you with anything?”

My heart instantly leapt in pride for this Mama’s son. I grinned, looked him in the eye, and said “Oh, no thank you, but that was very sweet of you!” He stepped back as I continued unloading the cart and clutching my girl.

And, as only a parent would do, I immediately began to second guess my response. Perhaps I should have said “Yes, please, that would be very helpful” so that he could have learned the brief, but important, life lesson his Mother was urging him towards. Or, I should have responded with “Oh, no thank you, but that was very kind of you!” Yes, kindness is what I believe is so important to instill in our children. Not sweetness…kindness.

Of course, in the scheme of things it doesn’t matter what my response. The fact that he confidently offered to help a stranger (at his mother’s beckoning) was indeed…kind. And kinda sweet.

P.S. Oh please, please for the love of Pete, someone beam a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods or Sprout’s into Anthem!!!


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