Friday, August 31, 2007

The kindness of Strangers

I am just bursting with ideas today, but first and foremost needed to share the one that changed my day yesterday.

My neighbor P's husband is 41, but seems to think he is 25. He does a lot of stupid stuff and yesterday he had a dirt bike accident. In a town in Connecticut. 2 hours away from us. Obviously, other than some road rash and puncture wounds (which required heavy sedation to clean and stitch up) he is fine, but we had to go pick him up from the hospital because his car was there (see, he drove himself to the hosptial -- I am allowed to call him an idiot for the crap he does!). So, when I hear it is about an hour away, I said, sure I will take you, thinking we will be home by 7 or so.


Between traffic and everything it took close to 5 hours round trip. BUT, I am only going to focus on one thing...

At about 7:30pm we are finally on our way back to NY, L is about an hour past his normal dinner time -- and that is the one thing you don't do to the kid, skip a meal. So I see McD's advertised on the side of the road as Easy in/Easy Out. One would think that meant 1) close to the exit and 2) a drive-thru.

One would be wrong.

So after dragging my sorry crew, who have now been in the car for a better part of 3 hours, into McDs, there is a line to kingdom come. I know there is another McDs 7 miles down the road and this line is easily 20 minutes. And that is 20 minutes of me holding a good 50 lbs of children and an infant who is about to lose his damn mind because he is HUNGRY too. So I spin us around and hustle us out to the car. L then has his breaking point. I start crying too because I feel so bad for the poor kid -- he is starving and was just teased by McDs -- and I know he has no idea what I am talking about when I say, just give me 7 more minutes and we will have food -- it will be longer if we wait here. L is not buying what I am selling and I don't blame him.

This whole debactle is overheard by the neighboring minivan. I know the mom there knows what I am going through as I see an about 5 year old and an infant carrier. I got "the look" from her -- the one that some times I question -- was that sympathy or a look of pity that I don't have my shit together. Then she turned to me and offered me gold.

Not really gold, but 2 McNuggets and some fries that her 3 year old won't finish. Her husband had gone in to get food for her crew and she knew that her 3 year old will only eat half her meal, so L is welcome to the other half. To which I graciously accepted and then lost my damn mind crying.

This whole thing has been playing through my head over and over and over and I think I FINALLY got it. I don't know or care if the woman was BF or FF, CIOs or not, uses sposies or cloth diapers, what car seat she uses, etc. All I know is that this woman, with her beautiful 3 girls, saved my sanity and made my son smile that all encompassing smile he gets when he sees food. She most certainly didn't have to help me, and I honestly don't know what I would have done if I witnessed a similar scenerio -- would an offer of help be intrusive, would I be seen as judgemental or would the mom burst into tears at the gesture of kindness like I did.

I hope and look forward to the day when I can pass on a similar favor to a mom in need.

1 comment:

nicole said...

I'm so glad that you were able to find some help for L. It just goes to show that there are people out there willing to lend a helping hand.