Each holiday season I come up with a charity plan of some sort, so that I can make an honest effort to teach my kids about the true meaning of Christmas. Some years are more successful than others, but overall, it's a warm experience each time.
It's December 7th, and while I've had little ideas pop in and out of my head this year, as far as what we could do, I had sort of just decided we weren't going to do anything. Times are tight, and I justified in my head that it's okay if we skip a year. I told myself that whatever we'd do, wouldn't make that much of a difference anyway.
This morning, I sat down for a few minutes and came across this video that my cousin, Kee Miller, had posted to his Facebook. I noticed it was 10 minutes long, and second guessed my desire to sit still that long, but did so anyway.
Before the movie progressed very far at all, maybe 60 seconds or so - I began crying. I know, I know - that doesn't say much. Most people know that I'm slightly 'oversensitive' - but I felt the spirit of video from the very beginning.
It got me reflecting on the times that others did small seemingly insignificant things for me or my family that had great impact.
I recall taking my girls to get their shots not too long ago. 2 kids, under 6, a handful of shots each. Not fun.
After the damage was done, I took them both out into the waiting room and sat down a second, trying to comfort them and gain control of the situation at hand.
Sitting within arms reach was a girl who appeared to be in her late teens. I didn't think I had taken much notice of her until she began talking to my girls.
"Uh oh, what happened?" She said in a sweet voice, only acknowledging my girls.
"Did you have to get shots today? Ohhhhh... I remember getting shots, and I HATE shots."
Her eyes didn't waiver off of my daughters and she was engaging them like no one else was in the room. I started to realize that even before she initiated this conversation, that I had unconsciously pegged her for a troubled teen that lived far too close to the edge. I assumed so much about her, in the 2 second glimpse I had of her - and had it been a typical doctor's office visit, I wouldn't have had any experience to think otherwise.
She continued on with my girls. "You know what? I probably have a treat for you in my purse.... Do you want a treat?"
She reached up and into her over-sized pocketbook that sat in the chair next to her. For the first time, she made eye contact with me and said, "You know, I was just at the store and I bought 3 of these fruit roll-ups. I didn't know why I needed to buy 3, but I did. I guess now I know why...."
She pulled out 2 wrapped fruit roll-ups and handed one to each of my girls who at this point, had calmed right down. The remaining conversation she had with them was casual, and we headed out the door after offering our thanks to her.
I felt pretty humbled with the experience and it's something I've reflected on often. Just a tiny little gesture from a complete stranger helped turn a dramatic experience into something light.
I think we can all attest to the fact that the littlest of gestures can make the biggest difference in our day to day lives and I'm grateful to be "shaken" back into reality a bit by this video.
It's pretty pathetic of me to consider "skipping this year," dontcha think?
It's time to buckle down and choose a charity idea. Any suggestion??