Pay It Forward

Recently, I took Ethan and Sean to an event that I thought they would both like. And they did. Mostly. Then Ethan decided that he needed a Philly Pretzel and then Sean followed suit and then I realized that yet again, I was ‘under-cashed’ for such an event. Dennis gives me grief for not carrying what he deems ‘appropriate amounts of cash’ – which is NOT the $3-6 I often have.

I was attempting to convince both of them that they didn’t need pretzels, but they were admantly arguing the point when a man behind me tapped me on the shoulder and attempted to hand me a five dollar bill.

‘Let me get it’, he said.

We have been the recipients of kindesses like this in public before. On occassion we have reached a cash register to find out that someone has paid our bill, or Ethan has been handed a cool piece of sports memorobilia at an event. Recently it happened twice in the same night – kind of restores your faith in the human race, doesn’t it?

Although we always recognize these acts for what they are – random acts of kindness, it is sometimes hard to be a gracious recipient. I felt terribly uncomforable that because I couldn’t remember to stop and get cash, someone else felt the need to provide it to my demanding child.

I sometimes wonder what a person might be thinking when they offer such a gift. I wonder if they think money is tight for us, or they remember a time they were in a similar situation and just caught off guard.

This time I didn’t wonder. I looked at the gentlemen’s shirt and then to the stroller he was pushing. I gratefully said, “Thank you so much. You’ve just made this much easier for me.”

He said, “You’re welcome and I’m glad.”

See the source image

His shirt said ‘Proud Parent of a Child with DS’ and his towheaded little daughter lay peacefully (unlike mine) in the stoller napping with the beautiful, little features of Down syndrome. You do know I think babies with DS are cuter than their typical counterparts, right?

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