If having children has taught me one thing, it would be the importance of kindness and giving. Motherhood is such an amazing journey and giving is such a huge part of the experience, but we often get so caught up in the struggles, the stress and the idea of perfection that kindness can take a bit of a back seat. Well life likes to make us stop and acknowledge what we have once in awhile; it forces us to depend on the kindness of strangers and be grateful.
After my six-week follow-up appointment I had one of those life-changing moments that literally stopped me in my tracks and forced me to depend on the kindness of a stranger.
As I walked out of my OB GYN’s office I was feeling great, she confirmed that I was well enough to start working out again and I was more than happy to hear this news. I was in a great mood and couldn’t wait to go grab a coffee and enjoy a little bit of “me time” before heading home. Then things changed very quickly. As I reached into my oversized purse I couldn’t feel my wallet, it wasn’t in my bag. Before rushing into panic mode, I began to reach around and look for spare change. There must be some change in this huge bag, I thought to myself. Nothing. Not even a dime! Then I began to “stress sweat,” that feeling that rushes over your body when things are getting real, things were going down hill and quickly. My husband had dropped me off at the appointment and my plan was to take the subway home. Well I had no change for the subway and was starting to get every worried about the amount of milk I’d left for my little one who was at home with my father-in-law. It’s safe to say that by this point panic had begun to set in.
As the panic took over so too did my sense of survival and I began calling all of my “go-to” people. Well they were all unavailable at least for the next hour or so. My sister was working at the hospital across the street, or at least that’s where she usually was, and I decided I would try and find her. It just so happened that when I finally got a hold of her she was not in the building that day. More panic.
It was at that point that I decided to tap into my only resource, my phone. I happened to have the Starbucks App on my phone which had some money on it, so I figured I could buy something from the store and then possibly return it for cash, yes this was my thought process at this point. So I went up to the barista and said just that, “ I forgot my wallet, I need to get home and was wondering if I could buy these items with my app and then…” he stopped me mid scrambled incoherent sentence and took $3.50 out of the tip jar and handed it to me. Then he said, put away your phone what can I get you to drink, it’s on me. In a state of absolute shock, tears welling up in my eyes I said, “anything, thank you so much!”
As I walked away with just enough change and a hot drink in my hands I immediately thought the world looked completely different and I never want to lose that feeling. The cold wind felt warm, the cloudy sky was breaking up and I felt like I could see everyone’s story, like everyone around me was an open book. My next thought was I want to give this warm drink to someone who really needs it today. The gift that I had received made me want to give something to someone else, it really is a ripple effect.
I’ve been wanting to post this story for a couple of weeks now and when I saw that today was Giving Day it seemed like the perfect opportunity to share. Christmas time is always a very busy time of year and now that we have children I feel like it’s just getting busier. This experience reminded me that even if we get busy and superficial things start to weigh us down, I want to stay grounded and pass on the feeling that I experienced that day, I want my children to think about others at this time of year and throughout the year, I want to remember that we all have a story and kindness can really break down the barriers we put up.