Helping a Mother in Need

When was the last time you did a random act of kindness?

My oldest son needed to get a new identification. After weeks of waiting, and thinking I had everything we needed for the appointment, we headed out to the office. We were met easily by a waiting clerk. Awesome, I thought. I gave them the paperwork. Everything was there. This is good, my optimism for this being the shortest appointment ever was growing. Then they asked for payment. No cash. No credit cards. Only a check would be expected. How could I forget to bring a check?, I thought. My mind started racing. I couldn’t just run to the car, my checkbook wasn’t there. If I went back to the house, I’d lose my place and have to reschedule the appointment again. Dread started sinking in.

Then the most amazing thing happened, a woman working with the clerk next to mine saw what was unfolding and offered to help. “I’ll give you a check. You can just Venmo or PayPal me.” I’ve never been so grateful. “Are you sure you don’t mind?,” I asked. “Not at all,” she said, “I’ve actually been looking for an opportunity to help someone else. The same thing happened to me when I was at a grocery store and the bill was over $400. I couldn’t believe someone would help me in that way and having been wanting to pay it forward ever sense. This makes me feel good.” I used her check to complete the transaction and transferred the owed funds noting in the notes “helping a mother in need.”

We all have had moments when we need help. We left house without diapers, or need someone to hold the baby while we handle another crisis, or ask someone to momentarily watch one child while we chase after another. There are always opportunities to help. This woman was a godsend and truly helped a mother in need. Now I’m on the lookout for who I can help, and pay forward her kindness.

How has someone else helped you in a time of need? How have you helped another parent in need?

Making the Most of It

Did you incur any weather that impacted your holiday plans?

We were looking forward to getting out of town for a few days over Winter Break, but were snowbound for a week. It forced us to just “be.” It was a bit of an adjustment, we had been so looking forward to our trip, but Mother Nature had other ideas. We had no option but to make the best of it.

While most of our family were fairly unproductive (meaning we sat around trying to stay warm and watched lots of TV) , my oldest decided to get together with a friend and workout — how did they work out? By shoveling sidewalks for other people without being asked. My son’s friend had the idea, but my son was in. He was so inspired that when he got home that first day he shoveled the sidewalk around our block (which is an oversized block covering three streets). I was impressed by his desire to do this. I asked him if any neighbors noticed his work and thanked him (we live where snow doesn’t happen often and folks aren’t accustomed to needing to clear their sidewalk). “Not really,” he said, but it didn’t seem to bother him. He repeated meeting up with his friend throughout the week, they changed it up (where they shoveled and would include have fun at several snow covered parks (they wouldn’t shovel the parks, but toss the football, etc.).

The time off truly allowed us to disconnect and enjoy the moment. We didn’t have to worry about being anywhere, getting anything done by a certain time, or braving the elements. It was a much needed respite from the flurry of activities leading up to the week prior.

How did you spend your holidays? How did you and your family make the most of unexpected situations?