kindness of strangers

It's no secret that Nate and I spend a lot of time together. Some days it's just me and him, telling each other all our secrets and hopes and dreams. It's probably why he talks so much. I am most definitely that super-annoying mom at the grocery store that is all "those apples are red and right next to them are the green apples and on the other side are the oranges and the plums and what aisle do you think the toilet paper is in and do you think we need anything in the cheese section (the answer to that is always: yes) and i like red cars do you like red cars." The no punctuation there was, in fact, deliberate my friends. (I'm hoping you got that.) We are a run-on sentence. Daily.

Some days, certain strangers enter the mix. If you know me at all, you know THE QUIET was one of the hardest things to adjust to when it came to staying at home with Naterpants. I'm not always so good at THE QUIET. I didn't necessarily grow up with THE QUIET. Excluding the first three years of my life, I've always shared a room with either my sister, a roommate or a husband. Add a large # of cousins and neighbors and (later) teammates and roommates and sorority sisters and you have very little ALONE time in this girl's life. I like it that way. I like having people around. It makes me happy. So, sometimes when it's just the two of us and strangers stop to say hello, we talk to them too. (How very Southern of me, yes?)

Usually they are of the nice variety (expect for that strange and sweaty man who I let borrow my cell phone and who then instructed me to tell "joyce" that he was going to be running late for the "meeting" if she called back.).

Here are a few sweet chance encounters in the last two weeks:

1. Nate and I were at the Park (Merriweather Park for all you Little Rockians - it's redone!) (Additional aside: WHY ARE THE PARKS ALWAYS EMPTY!?? WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE?!!?) running around on the empty baseball diamond/field. We were pretending to play catch/bat but didn't have a ball (bad mommy?). An older couple (the man told me he was 74) were playing tennis at the court nearby (see why he told me he was 74? Cause he was BRAGGING. About the tennis. As well he should.) and they walked down to see if Nate would like a tennis ball to play with. We talked to them for a few minutes and Nate was most appreciative of the tennis ball. It was a lovely little connection.

2. I know you are all going to be SHOCKED by this but I was in The Little Caesars near our house (it's not shocking at all because I am frequently in there b/c I am a horribly unhealthy person addicted to Hot and Ready Pizza.) Anyway, we were picking up pizza and going to meet friends and the pizza was neither Hot nor Ready. They apologized and made a big deal of bringing Nate some cookies and quarters for the Bouncy Ball Machine thingey while we waited. I know it sounds silly and it's not such a big deal, but little things like that tug at my heart strings and make me remember that people CAN BE nice when they choose to do so.

3. And, finally, on our way into Arkansas Children's Hospital for Nate's ENT appointment last week, we were stopped by some members of the UCA football team on their way out the door. After much high-fiving amongst Nate and the players, one of them offered Nate a foamy-hand Bear Claw with a bunch of signatures on it (see picture). I wish I would have thought to ask the player who handed it to me his name, because it was such a sweet moment AND that little piece of purple foam was an immense help after Nate projectiled his lunch all over the walls! YUM!

Anyway, the point of my post is this: It's out there... this whole Kindness of Strangers thing...it exists. We just need to go slow enough to find it, yes? What positive STRANGER DANGER incidents have happened to you lately? (I also had some babychild Sonic carhop hit on me the other day, and, while this may not seem like Kindness to you, made me real giggley. HA.)


The Smiths said...

Oh warm fuzzies!!! Thanks for sharing. It's always nice to hear the positives.
Do It Like A Big Bear!! (uca cheer)

melissa said...

it's hard to find any stranger kindness in los angeles, the land of d*ckheads, but i wrote "it's my birthday!!!" in the dirt on the back of my car last weekend (how very southern of ME), and two days later, a woman flagged me down in the cvs parking lot after seeing it to tell me happy birthday and give me a huge smile. made. my. day. :)

Kaelin Muse said...

I too am working on this nice thing and appreciating it where I find it, but also I am actively working on contributing to it. It's hard when I am such a good cynical B.

Jax said...

Aw.. love the niceness of the strangerness! :) I seriously get all warm inside at interactions like that! I could NEVER live in NYC or somewhere that people are less than midwest-southern nice to each other for the most part! And the foam hand thing is so freaking cute.. love it!

Kate said...

i've got no good stories coming to mind at the moment, but I hear you on the no real need to be alone thing. I get all excited to have the freedom to be alone, like to go run an errand or something, and then by the time I return an hour later I'm gushing, "I MISS YOU GUYS!"

Susan said...

People look at me weird when I'm having conversations with the 4 mo old twins. There is generally no response to my questions so I uphold their part too. Folks won't judge when our children knock em out with an awesome vocabulary.