Colin is back from China! Yay! We are so glad to have him home. While he was gone and I was home with the boys, I was reminded of last December when he had back-to-back trips to England and Brazil. Because I was pregnant with Declan and then busy settling into a new baby routine, he had put off a lot of his travel until the end of the year. So when Declan was eight weeks old and I was back on my feet a bit, he left to finish out his travel year. After he’d been gone for two days, I ended up at the doctor with Declan. My little two month old baby had RSV. Every two hours, I spent twenty minutes sitting in the bathroom floor with a two year old and a two month old, letting the shower steam up the room. I was getting around fine after the C-section, but still a little slow. It was also the one and only time that Ian ever showed any animosity toward Declan. He did this by pushing Declan out of the little chair I had sat him in and misbehaving so badly that I had to turn my attention to him instead of Declan. It was a rough, rough week that I never want to repeat. After both boys were asleep every night, it was time to start picking up the house and cleaning up. One night in particular, I was exhausted to the point of tears. It had been our trash day, so I opened the door to go outside and bring the garbage can back up the driveway only to find that it wasn’t there. It was already at the garage just waiting to be brought inside. As it turned out, my neighbor knew I was home alone with the kids and was just trying to make my day a little easier. It was such a simple act of kindness, but in my exhausted state, I could not have been more appreciative.
Not longer after that, I heard my sister-in-law saying that someone in the line in front of her at Chik-Fil-A paid for her lunch while she was sitting in the drive-thru line waiting. She was talking about how it had made her day, and I thought, “How simple it is to brighten someone’s day.” A few weeks later, I tried it. I paid for the car behind me in the line at McDonalds. It was only five bucks, but I felt good all day knowing that maybe I had made someone else’s day a little happier.
Last Tuesday morning, I woke up tired, knowing that I had two more days alone with the kids before Colin returned home. The thought was depressing and I knew I had to get out of the house or I was going to go crazy. So I got everyone up and dressed and ready to head out to the mall for a few hours to just wander around and play in the kid’s area. When I opened the front door, a package had been left on my doorstep by the mailman. It was a “box of sunshine” sent to me by my fellow Three Ladies authors, Ashley and Lisa, and Ashley’s sister, Randa. I opened it up to find balloons, candy, a DVD, a t-shirt and all kinds of little odds and ends. It was just the kind of pick-me-up I needed. And it was what they knew I needed in the middle of a long week. It made me so happy to know that people cared for me and wanted me to be happy. It got me through the next few days with a smile and a positive attitude.
I guess my point in sharing all of this is just to emphasize how important random acts of kindness are. We live in such a fast paced world where much of the time we are all just trying to survive; just trying to make it through the day. It’s so easy to forget that we are all in this together. These little acts don’t have to cost money. They don’t even have to be thought out ahead of time. Offer to play with a bored, unhappy baby on a plane. Buy a cup of coffee for the guy behind you. Make some brownies for the neighbor, just because. I can promise that people will appreciate it. And you know what else? It just feels good to be on the giving end sometimes, even when you don’t get anything in return. So happy Monday, everyone. I hope you all find something to brighten your day. If not, do something to brighten someone else’s.