"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

a random act

It's been a heavy couple of weeks. I have friends who are hurting. My city is hurting. I feel like the whole wide world is broken.

Things here, in my own little bubble of my own little family, are fine. Good, even. But I have this weight of sadness that I've been carrying around because there are problems out there...right around the corner, right down the road, and in every corner of the Earth...that are not mine to solve.

As someone who ranks highly on the "It's Not My Problem But I'll Worry About It Anyway" scale, my sleepless nights have been numerous lately, and the stress I'm holding in is visible in my slumped shoulders.

But then, a brightness. A lightness.

In a simple, surprise gesture of thoughtful generosity, a friend of mine reminded me that there is good. Right here, down the street, and across the whole wide world.

I look for the helpers, always, and they're there. Always. But sometimes, someone who is completely removed from the situation; who isn't helping because she doesn't know that there is a problem that needs solving...who doesn't even know that you need a reminder that There Is Kindness in a world so sad...can swoop in and change your perspective.

A box arrived in the mail from a former co-worker. Though we keep in touch via Facebook, I haven't seen her since I stopped teaching. She knows my kids only from photos and posts on this blog. In that box were three books: A Lego chapter book for my biggest boy, a Lalaloopsy storybook collection for my littlest girl, and for Mr. Max, The Boy With Pink Hair.

Perez Hilton - The Boy With the Pink Hair
Yes, that says "Perez Hilton." Yes, the Perez Hilton

The book is great because it celebrates individuality, self-expression, and the Born That Way mentality that we speak of often in this house. It's great because after I read it to Max I said, "You know what? That boy kind of reminds me of you!" Max responded, "Yup! Because we both love pink and we're both bakers!" Thoughtfully, he added: "But...none of my best friends wear ponytails every day."

My friend Kathy is great because she gets my kid. All three of them! (She also gets that you can't send a Just Because book to one kid and not his brother and sister, too. She's a mom and a teacher. She gets it.) Despite time and distance, she pays attention and she cares. 

Kathy is great because, following two weeks of heavy and stress and sad that she didn't even know about, she gave us a light, bright afternoon. An afternoon of reading, talking about Random Acts of Kindness, and Thank You Note-writing. 

It's nice to do nice things for people. It's nice to send people a little out of the blue reminder that you're thinking of them. It's nice to be reminded that there's a such thing as kindness for the sake of being kind.

Lesson Learned:
Spread some kindness. Share some love. Take care of each other.

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