We carry so much with us that nobody else can see.
Shopping with little nuggets can be hard. But, a couple of years ago I was shopping with Sofia and we had an especially good shopping trip. That, in itself, isn’t what makes me remember it though.
That day we were at Sam’s, undoubtedly buying diapers. My method for keeping her less-than-two year old self entertained at the time was to browse the books first, and then let her pick one to look at while we were shopping. Some days my method worked better than others. It worked great that day. We zoomed through the store, got everything we needed, and made it up to the checkout line.
There was a woman in her fifties in front of us, shopping by herself. The associate ended up having to do a price check on one of her items, and we were stuck waiting for a few minutes. No biggie. Sofia was pleasantly entertained while I read to her from her new book.
When we paid for our stuff and headed to the car, the woman from the line approached us and apologized for taking so long. I told her it was no worry. She told me it was wonderful to see me talking to Sofia instead of ignoring her as she saw so many parents doing to their kids. I just took it as a compliment and thanked her. The sweet woman went on to tell me that she had lost her daughter to breast cancer not long before, and to cherish my daughter always.
I’m not sure why, but I was thinking about that woman this morning, and wishing that I had given her a hug that day.
Today I dropped Sofia off at school, and Hubs off at work before heading to Walmart to shop with Stella. At the checkout line I offered to let a woman go ahead of us, and she politely declined. As we waited in line together we started chatting. She eventually told me that a year ago today she lost her son.
I gave her a hug.
We talked, shared stories, and wished each other a good day. As Stella and I walked away she said “thank you”. I managed to keep my shit together until I got to the car. I hope she knows that she made my day special too.
Kindness costs nothing. And, we all carry so many things. You never know when you can lighten someone’s load, even a tiny bit.