Just about every parent on the planet can tell you at least one horror story about a stranger butting into their business with unwanted advice or nagging (Seriously, just ask me about the time some guy informed us that our daughter was autistic because she wasn't wearing shoes…). But rarely do we share about the wonderful people passing by that make us feel better about ourselves or our parenting. Those moments are ALWAYS remembered though. In honor of them, I'd like to share a few times that I experienced the kindness of strangers.
The lovely couple who stopped us in Home Depot and told us that they had sat next to us earlier at dinner. I teased them that they remembered us because of my daughter's toddler vocal exercises. They said it was because it is so nice to see a family truly enjoying being together.
The servers who have volunteered to hold my baby so that I could eat uninterrupted. You are extremely well-tipped angels.
The nurse who stopped me in Target when Melanie was a few weeks old and told me that she had a beautifully shaped head. At that time, I was drowning in exhaustion and needed to hear something wonderful.
The family who stopped at our table when my baby was a few months old and loved screaming at the top of her lungs over and over. We thought you were going to complain but instead you told us all about how your (now teenage) daughter had done the same thing and you had nicknamed her “Pterodactyl”. You told us that every time you heard her shriek, it made you smile.
The local grocery store employees who know Melanie's name and love stopping to talk to her. You give her stickers and free samples and always, always use her name. It makes every grocery run special.
The people who saw me breastfeeding in public and didn't care. Either you truly didn't even notice or blink and eye or you took the time to make eye contact and smile, that kind of support is powerful. You made me want to continue to fight to nurse my baby.
The older couple who stopped us at a restaurant and gave us a stuffed animal. Honestly, I thought you were trying to sell us something or “save” me. Instead, you just gave Melanie a stuffed unicorn. I still smile at that memory.
The parents in baby group who never mind when my kid tries to “share” books, snacks, and toys with their kid. Thank you for realizing that she's a VERY active toddler who doesn't 100% understand sharing. I appreciate it every time you laugh and don't mind her imposing on your personal space.
Tell me a story about your experience with a kind stranger.