I recently flew back to my hometown in Massachusetts. I took a few days (without the kids) to visit my family and I just have to say, it was wonderful. I missed my kids but I found that I was able to enjoy the little things and have a clearer sense of what was going on around me.
It started with the plane ride. I almost didn't know what to do with myself when I sat down and looked around. I pulled out my book of crossword puzzles and listened to the conversations around me. Occasionally, I looked out the window to think about how excited I was to see my family. It only happens about once a year.
When I got off the second leg of my flight, I noticed a young mom, baby on her hip, waiting for her stroller and car seat that she had checked plane-side. She couldn't have been more than 23 or so and the look on her face is one I have had many times when flying with my children. When her items showed up, she was trying to open the stroller with one hand while holding the baby and there was a cold, misty wind blowing in through the open door. The baby's blanket was falling down and this sweet young mom was trying every trick she knew to get that thing open. I noticed everyone around her (about 20 passengers, or so) just watching. I went over to her and started helping. I've been through this stroller thing a time or two and I know how frustrating it can be; especially when it's a small place and you're trying to get the heck out of dodge.
It wouldn't budge. I asked to hold her baby so she could try again and the look on her face was part worry and part "thank you". I told her I would stay right next to her. She handed her sweet little baby girl to me and tried again to open the stroller. It wouldn't open. She and I made eye contact and in an unspoken language that only mothers can interpret, decided to walk to the terminal dragging the stroller. When we got to an area where we could put all of her bags down, she kept saying, "Thank you. Thank you so much."
I noticed another woman behind me who started helping with the car seat. There was no talk about do this or do that. The three of us just knew what to do. I handed the baby back to her mom and got to work on the stroller. We laughed about how this had happened to me before and how frustrating it was that strollers and car seats seemed to be things that were damaged the most. "Next time, put your stuff in a big duffle bag or trash bag," the woman said. "This has happened to me before and I learned the hard way." The three of us laughed and just then, the stroller popped open (with a broken wheel from the flight) and the car seat was back together.
"Thank you so much," the mom said.
I just smiled and told her "Us Moms" need to stick together.
I said goodbye and headed out of the terminal to meet my sister who I hadn't seen since the summer. We tackled each other with hugs, like we always do, and a smile bigger than you can even imagine naturally stretched across my face. "Sorry," I said to her. "I was helping another mom with her stroller." I continued to tell my sister the story about this mom as we left the airport. We plopped down in her car and picked up right where we left off - as if 5 months apart was like 5 minutes apart.
I can't tell you how happy it made me to be able to help another mom. Sure, I would have done it even if I had my kids with me but the fact that I had two free hands and no one else to take care of made it so much easier to help.
"Throw kindness around like confetti," Bob Goff, says, author of 'Love Does'. Okay, I will :)
What act of kindness will you show today? Tell me on my Facebook page.