An Aero Points the Way

31 Oct

I don’t have to verbalize here what kind of a month it’s been. Hell, what kind of a few months we’ve had. They have involved midnight crying sessions, visits to the doctor, medications – lather, rinse, repeat. Just when I think I’m getting my shit together, I seem to fall apart again. I’m having to realize that for some reason this time I’m not able to bounce back as fast as I was able to before, and why that is, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because every time things start to even out a bit, another shit storm heads my way, or maybe it’s because certain parts of my support system that I depended upon aren’t available. Since these chinks in my protective fence aren’t there, depression can slither into the cracks and can take control.

As this week has gone on, things have gotten a bit better. Scott and I have had some great time together since he’s finally adjusting to his new routine, and I’ve been feeling a bit better. On Friday nights we always do the same thing: a few errands, dinner at McDonalds or Wendys, grocery shopping, then home. Sometimes we snag a movie, other times we don’t. The kids love going out to eat on Friday night and, I have to admit, I love not having to cook.

This Friday night I was a bit stressed. Scott seemed to be taking forever to get ready to go and there were tons of time sensitive things that we had to get done before we headed out to eat. We made our deadline (but not without me stressing out a little) and headed to McDonalds.

Things at the golden arches were eerily quiet. Probably due to the Halloween celebration one of the local towns was holding (we go trick-or-treating in another town). Because it was so quiet there was a table available in the play place and the kids begged to sit there. We got the food, corralled the kids, and sat down.

We ate our dinner and pulled off the Monopoly tabs. I love McDonalds Monopoly! I especially love playing it online. A woman who was in a booth in front of us suddenly turned around.

“Excuse me, would you like our McDonalds tabs? We’re from Canada and we can’t use them.”

We gratefully accepted the tabs and started talking to the couple. We live about 15 minutes from the Canadian border, so it’s never a surprise to talk to a Canadian. We were surprised, however, when this couple announced that they were from Ottawa. Ottawa is about five hours away from here, and the couple were driving two more hours to New Hampshire.

With two young children.

Their oldest looked to be about three, and their youngest was almost a year old. Over seven hours in the car with two young children? Actually I believe their trip took even longer because they said it took them over an hour to get through Montreal due to the traffic (sorry Sherry – they had tons of complaints about driving through Montreal and said they’d never do it again!)

We started talking up the adults, correctly guessing that they’d like a bit of adult conversation after being in the car for so long with two young children, and discussed health care (Canada’s kicks ass – something I already knew), the H1N1 virus, and what traveling with young children was like.

I told her that we hadn’t crossed the border since they made the new laws, and how I really missed it.

“I especially miss going across because I can’t get Aero bars anymore!”
“What?” she asked, shocked. “You can’t get Aero bars here?”
“No – Nestle only distributes Aero bars in Canada. I’ve contacted them to ask them why they only distribute it to Canada, and they never really gave me a good answer.”

A few minutes later she asked to be excused as she got some stuff ready for their trip back. We chatted with the husband for a bit and watched and reminisced as he tried to get his youngest off of the slide.

Suddenly the woman came from behind me and placed something on the table in front of me. It was four miniature Aero bars.

AeroMilkChocolateBars-2T“Here! To tide you over. I bought a fun-sized bag of candy for the kids to enjoy on Halloween and they had some Aero bars in them. Enjoy!”

I swear to God that I almost jumped up and hugged her. As it was my eyes were full of tears. This woman, whom I’ve never met before and who I’d never see again, took the time to go out to her vehicle and to pick out four Aero bars to bring in to me.

I thanked her profusely and we wished them a safe trip.

The whole time we were grocery shopping, it was all Scott or I could talk about.

In a world like the one we live in today, random acts of kindness are pretty rare. Even in the small town area I live in, where people wave and smile as you pass them on the street, it is still not normal to see someone do something so sweet for someone that they barely know.

I looked at Scott later last night and said, “that’s it, you know. I have to pay it forward. And not just once, I need to try to be an even better person and to do random acts of kindness myself more often.”

He nodded and agreed that it was something we both should work on more and should work on teaching our children. We’re kind people, and we do what we can for others, but we both agreed that doing something nice for someone we didn’t know was something that we needed to start thinking more about.

Happy Halloween everyone. I hope that you have a wonderful, and safe, Halloween.

And I want to thank that lovely woman, again, for giving me a reason to smile.

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2 Responses to “An Aero Points the Way”

  1. Jenera October 31, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    I have had a few instances where someone totally random has done something nice or said something nice and it blows me away. it is insane that we have reached a point where kindness is odd.

  2. Finn October 31, 2009 at 4:37 pm #

    I PPH Aero Bars! I used to be able to get them in my local grocery store (they stocked British foods there), but no more. 😦

    That was lovely of her to do that for you, and I do hope you pay it forward. You will feel wonderful when you do.

    And I agree with Jenera: It is insane that we have reached a point where kindness is odd.

    Maybe we can change that.

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