Friday, April 25, 2008

Angels in Paper Hats

'Member the movie "Pay it Forward"? Kinda cheesy, but the message I think got people stuck on the whole random acts of kindness stuff. A bit new age for me if you think that good karma spreads, but you gotta like the idea of being nice to someone for no reason what so ever.
I have been on the receiving end of this kindness a few times in the last few weeks and it has both surprised me and energized me.
My Angel in a Paper hat was a teen working at Arby's just off the thruway last week. I was driving home from my sister's, a 4.5 hour drive that turned out to be almost 5.5 with too many stops for gas, to pee, to eat, to retrieve lost toys blah blah. Just 20 or so minutes from home, Giraffe the 5 year old with the full bladder informs me that no he cannot hold it and no he cannot pee in the grass. So off the thruway we go, to the Arby's, the closest and hopefully cleanest restroom at that exit. After taking care of business I order a coffee from the cutest, most smiley girl I have seen in any fast-food restaurant, clearly not caring that I am crabby or that her polyester shirt is none too flattering. She not only pours me a cup just the way I like, but with a charming grin, hands Giraffe a cookie and waves off my money. No charge. Nothing. Not for the coffee or the cookie. Angel I tell you. I was so tired, loosing patience with little man, and she with just a cup of joe and a smile made my day. Maybe it wasn't' a big deal for her, but what a difference in my spirit as I left.
Today I met a lovely owner of a local yarn shop called Knit N' Purl. I chatted a bit with her who was delightful. Besides the fact that she had amazing stuff and wonderful sale prices, she was welcoming and engaging. She was my second angel. I had Giraffe with me and he was being well behaved but eager to leave. She commented on how polite and well behaved he was and told him so directly (I love that, he needs to hear it too not just me). She then told me I must be very patient as I was talking so calmly and nicely to him. Wow, me patient? Not a bit, but to have someone praise me for the nice way I talk to my boy, who knows every button to push and drives me to yank out my own hair- it energized me for the rest of our evening. Angel I tell you. I plan to return, oh yes.
So do I pay it forward? Do I give a little of myself to lift the spirits of those around me? Do I offer a smile, hold the door a little longer for the person behind me, whatever without expecting something back? Am I sharing the Joy of the Lord in the way I am with strangers just in passing, or do I save it for friends and family? What do leave with others? Can I dig a little deeper to be that light?

Hubbo is away for the weekend so Giraffe and I decided to live la vida loca and have some fun. How much fun can frumpy mommy and 5 year have? We hit that yarn shop that was new to me , went to Burger King for dinner (Big ol' BBQ burger with onion rings for me yee haw) Blockbuster for Juno and Season 2 of Lost, to Hallmark for a gift for the MIL and then to, wait for it, Big Lots for a toaster. Do I know how to party of what?
Giraffe spent some time playing a video game he rented (after being grounded from all things electronic for the week he was very excited)and I chatted with a friend who needed a little venting time tonight.
All in all, a good day, a good evening and good night. I am ending this night with Lost, Ice-Wine tea and my shawl for Jacquie which is going very well. I might have to fondle the wool I bought, maybe just a little.