Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kindness of Strangers

Austin had an appointment with his doctor this morning, and then we had some errands to run. We were in the costume department in Target and this lady came up and was gushing over Hannah, while I was talking to Steve about costumes. Austin was looking at costumes and came back in the middle of this lady and he informed her that we also have triplets and a five year old at home. She was in even more awe and then asked questions about them, to which Austin (and I) answered. She was a very nice lady.

Austin wants a costume, but he isn't going trick-or-treating and let's face it, buying four costumes breaks the bank enough (do the math - four costumes at roughly $25 a piece - it's insane for two hours of fun). We decided that Hannah doesn't need to go as anything and Austin didn't need to. There is a 4H Fun and Frolic for middle-schoolers, though, so he really wants to go and go dressed up.

Grandma was generous and gave each of the kids some money, so Steve said he could use that money and get his own costume. I told Austin OK and kept talking to Steve. Austin came back with a costume that is 1 1/2 times the agreed-upon price and wants it. He puts it in the cart. I see that and tell him, no he cannot get that particular costume. He forlornly goes to put it back. Hello? Where did he think the money was coming from?

Suddenly he is back with the same costume and a $20 bill. I looked at him and he quickly said that the lady gave him $20 for his costume. What?? She then comes around the corner and said, she told him to enjoy that costume. Same lady who was gushing over Hannah. I could tell by her posture and tone that she was not going to take the $20 back. Seriously...I can't accept help from people I know well and love, how am I to just graciously accept a $20 bill from someone I don't even know??? I knew I had to find a way.

The only thing that I can think of is that this lady understands how exhorbant prices of costumes are (she was in the costume aisle, after all) and understood my quandary with six little people at home. She probably didn't understand that he isn't going trick-or-treating anyway, but that's OK. I am just amazed that some woman would just hand my child $20 for a costume and so humbled that there are still people out there like that. Yes, Austin was dismayed, but he (for the first time ever) wasn't pitching a fit about it and was actually very gracious about putting the costume back. So it isn't like she was horrified by how he was acting.

There are still people who care about others and who want to spread some kindness. I wish that I could send this woman a thank-you, but I can't. That is why I chose to share my story here. If you have ever helped a person out in any way and have not been thanked, know that they greatly appreciated it. I was humbled that she was helping us out and did it through Austin. I knew she didn't want to embarrass me and I greatly appreciated it, even though it was difficult for me. I also remembered something that we had talked about in Bible Study a while back. When you don't allow people to help you, then you are not allowing them to bless you. And maybe in the process of blessing me, she was blessing herself. I certainly hope so!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It feels good to give and wonderful for people to accept it graciously. You helped her also.