My 4 year old son Cash has a way of finding trouble. The fact that one of our rugs and an entire bathroom were covered in slime and glitter just a few days ago is only the latest in a ridiculously long litany of spirited things he had done over the years.
But sometimes, it’s really not his fault. Like when he stepped on glass a few years ago.
(The very short back story: After two surgeries, doctors finally got the glass out but he would no longer step down on his foot. So after three months of physical therapy and three orthopedist consultations, he was in casts for 6 weeks to fix his walking. And it did. For a couple months. And then, he started walking on his toes again. I mean, OMG.)
So now he has to wear braces on his feet for 6 months. Which I can handle but it means he has to wear shoes two sizes too big in order to fit the braces. Which meant a trip to the shoe store to buy new shoes.
I found a great pair of sneakers on sale.
I also found a great pair of light up, super cool, totally not on sale sneakers. And as you know, sneakers can be expensive.
I was vacillating between the two.
And I finally decided that any kid who had two surgeries for glass in his foot, endured 3 months of physical therapy, wore two casts on his feet for 6 weeks and now had to wear braces for 6 months certainly deserved LIGHT UP, SUPER COOL, TOTALLY NOT ON SALE sneakers.
Even if I still can’t get the slime out of my rug.
So I went to the counter and waited while they rung up the sneakers.
But the manager (who overheard me discussing which sneakers to buy with my older daughters) did a little magic at the register and suddenly the light up, super cool, totally not on sale sneakers were much cheaper.
She said, “He deserves these sneakers and you deserve some money off!”
I was like, “Really?!”
I graciously thanked her.
Wow. That was really nice. And smart too. Because this lady with the 5 kids (me) will invariably need to be buying more shoes.
And where do you think I will always go now? Yup. That place.
(Which was DSW by the way.)
Being nice. It’s such a simple idea. And it can dramatically alter people’s day.
I often see the kids getting off the school bus at my twins’ elementary school when we are walking in. They are greeted by a school official with an extremely cheery “good morning,” high fives and even hugs.
Whatever is happening at home, these children are getting the warmest greeting when they get to school.
It’s beautiful to watch.
Yes, we can all be tired. And grumpy. And busy. But exerting kindness (even just a little kindness) has an unbelievable impact. It lifts people up. It encourages them to then do something kind for someone else. It’s a constant reminder of all the generous, amazing people in this world.
And that’s what I’m going to choose to think of every time I look at the braces on Cash’s feet.
Not the surgeries. Or the the physical therapy. Or the casts. Or that dumb piece of glass that started all of this craziness in the first place.
I will think of that nice woman at the shoe store. I will see kindness. And I will try to pass it on.