Dear Woman Behind Me in Line at the Pharmacy,
Thank you for seeing me. Thank you for seeing my thinly veiled desperation and stepping in, in the gentlest of ways. Thank you for knowing that probably the best way to comfort my sick, exhausted, crying little boy (who wouldn’t stop wailing “I want Daddy” ), was to encourage your little boy to talk to him. Because all Henry needed was one tiny distraction, and somehow your boy knew what it should be: a penny that he found on the ground.
After he chatted about the shiny penny, he somehow knew that we needed more. So he was game to talk about the toy he got from his Oma’s house, the Paw Patrol guy that he likes the best, and how he’s gonna be Spiderman when he grows up. And while Henry wasn’t totally sure what to make of such a chatty kid, it bought us enough time to get to the counter and grab our medicine with no more tears.
So thank you for teaching your boy to reach out when he sees someone struggling. The smallest acts of kindness are sometimes the ones most acutely felt. I left the pharmacy near tears, not because I was upset about my sick boy but because I was overwhelmed by the simple kindness of a compassionate young stranger. And please know that I’ll be teaching my son the same compassion, and encouraging him to reach out too.