Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Random acts {ten through thirteen}

We are almost halfway through this 30 day challenge! That, to me, is insanity. I know that the random acts will continue when this is all over, and I do believe that random acts of kindness are best when they are kept a secret, but this challenge is being made public because (one) it is only 30 days and (two) I wanted to push my friends and family to do the same and maybe inspire some ideas.

 We are having so much fun with this, and (maybe consequently?) are becoming the happy recipients of the random acts of kindness of others. I love this cycle, and I hope it continues through the rest of the year.


Saw this idea online and happened to have some unloved popcorn (the real stuff is simply the only thing that will do, says this prego popcorn-addicted Mama) in the pantry. Some tape and a quick stop and somebody's movie night just got a little bit better.


I put the cart back. If this was my own cart, that would be a feat all its own, but no...I even put a stranger's cart back. This may seem simple, but returning shopping carts is just something I hate to do. I even made a bet once where my ex-husband was to return the cart every single time for a year if I won. I won, and it was glorious. So when this lonely little guy called to me from waaaay out in the parking lot, I sucked it up, threw on my coat (it's cold out here this time of year) and escorted it back to the lovely little cart home I don't often use, saving a Super 1 employee a little walk in the cold.


I am not going to lie, I had a hard time with this one. First let me tell you what I did, and then I will explain why I struggled with it. In short, I decorated a cross. In Montana, there are white crosses placed along the highway and each one represents a highway fatality. People adorn the crosses that represent their loved ones with flowers, pictures, and other momentos. Many, though, are left plain. Perhaps their family lives far away or maybe they have another site where they pay their respects. Or maybe (my mind raced as I decorated this one) they prefer it plain. Maybe they are Jewish and wouldn't appreciate the Christmas-y flowers a stranger left, maybe they were a drunk driver and the well decorated cross near this one represents a victim of their bad decisions. I almost stopped myself. The idea wasn't thought through. I had some leftover Christmas decorations in my car that didn't sell at my yard sale last weekend. I saw this plain cross and decided they belonged together. Maybe it was a mistake. But it was the thought that counts, and I have a feeling that this will become a tradition for my kids and I.


We left a dollar hidden in the toy section at The Dollar Tree. I let Eldon choose the hiding spot and he very carefully placed it when no one was looking. I remember being his age and in awe of the possibilities of a dollar at the dollar store. Cheers to smiley kids and unexpected acts of kindness!  

I am so happy to be sharing this experience with my son. I am consistently surprised by his desire to help, his compassion, and his empathy at his young age. I am so proud of the thoughtful boy he is becoming. These are the parenting moments that cause me to stop, and feel confident in my parenting. I often question the decisions I make as a mother, and every once in awhile, I get to see it all clearly and know that I am doing something right.