Welcome to Kindness Matters Monday! If you have a story of your own to submit, I’d love to hear it! Please e-mail me at [email protected]
Once upon a time (last week), my husband and I surprised our kids with a trip to Disneyland.
It was magical.
Not only was the trip a surprise, but they didn’t know that they’d get to see all four of their grandparents, two aunts, two uncles, and even several cousins. It was awesome!
So the week was wonderful. And on the last day, we decided to end it with a bang – we stayed at the park until midnight. We got in a couple of last rides and created a few more memories. And a few minutes after midnight, exhausted children in tow, we went to get the stroller to head back to the hotel.
It was gone.
We looked all over. We talked to the cleaning crew and to security guards. No luck. It was just gone.
Our four-year-old son was tired and a bit confused. My husband and I were upset. This double-stroller wasn’t cheap, and we couldn’t believe it was missing. Who steals a stroller at Disneyland, for crying out loud? But our frustration was nothing next to our six-year-old daughter’s. She had realized that her souvenirs that Grandpa had bought her that day were in the bottom of the stroller.
Remember, this was our last day at the park – and it was closed. We had no way to replace them.
She cried and cried and cried. A part of me knew that, in the grand scheme of things, a few little lost souvenirs weren’t a big deal. But looking into my daughter’s eyes, seeing her hurt and betrayal and shock, it became a very big deal. She had wanted these few small treasures all week. They were a gift from her Grandpa. And someone had stolen them.
I kicked into Defensive Mom mode. While my husband filled out some forms, I spoke to a security guard, and he sent me over to the one store that was still open. I knew they didn’t sell what I was looking for (they were from the Pirates of the Caribbean store in the back of the park), but I asked to speak to a manager and told him our story.
(Here’s where the kindness part begins, in case you were wondering.)
He looked through his shelves and found one of the three souvenirs that we had purchased. Then he explained the situation to one of his cashiers. Instantly she was on the phone with someone from the Pirates store, and then she took off running – running. An employee from that store came running to meet her. And within minutes, she was back. She handed me a bag containing the replacement treasures. For no charge, Mickey Mouse had “found” them.
Y’all, it was around $20 of “treasures”. In the grand scheme of things, was it important? Absolutely not.
But to a crying little girl, it meant everything.
And to a mom who had just seen her children’s eyes opened to one of the uglier aspects of life, to see a cashier running to save my daughter a few minutes of sadness … it was priceless.
Today, you might not be able to do anything huge. You probably won’t be solving world hunger or global poverty. You probably won’t cure cancer or AIDS. You might feel like there’s nothing significant you can do.
But you might be able to run to someone’s aid.
And that can make all the difference.
Today … let’s be runners.