Yesterday, someone went out of their way to hold a shop door open for me – and it made me cry.
For various reasons, I’d been having a really bad day. Just one of those days where it feels like the whole world is against you, even though nothing especially bad has happened.
It had been a real battle that morning getting everyone ready to leave the house for the school and Cylch (Welsh playgroup) run. No one would put their shoes or coats on, the kids were fighting with each other, and just as we were about to leave, already late, there was an explosive nappy to deal with and no clean clothes to be found.
Cardiff Daddy had been leaving early for work and working late all week, meaning no respite from the role of mummy. I was overtired from a lack of sleep the previous night and had a few problems on my mind that had been getting me down and which I just couldn’t resolve. Like I say, nothing awful, just one of those days.
After the hour round trip to drop the big two off I needed to go to the shops to pick up a few things.
It’s never easy navigating a buggy down a narrow shop-lined street, and the shop I needed to go in had one of those doors that was tricky to open when you have a pushchair with you, and a bit of a step into it.
From out of nowhere, a young woman probably in her mid-20s, appeared. I hadn’t noticed her at all but she must have seen I was struggling. “Here, let me get the door for you,” she said, in a kind and cheery voice.
She held the door open with a big smile, helped me lift the buggy, waited until I was safely inside, and then headed off, saying it must be tricky getting around with a buggy. She wasn’t even going into the shop herself yet she went out of her way to help me, a complete stranger, when she could so easily have walked on by pretending not to notice.
I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I was grateful to be wearing my big sunglasses. She probably had no idea just how much her simple gesture meant, but suddenly I felt like someone was on my side. Suddenly it felt like someone cared. That might sound melodramatic and over the top. It might make me sound a little bit pathetic. But some days are hard and they really get you down.
I like to think I’m generally a kind person. I know I’m not perfect but I’m always the one to let another car pull out when all the other motorists drive on by. Or to let the person behind me in the supermarket queue go before me, if they’ve just got a handful of things and I’ve got a weekly shop in my trolley. I do these things out of politeness more than anything. But today I truly understood what a massive impact random acts of kindness can have. A simple gesture that takes but a moment can completely turn someone’s day around.
Don’t ever underestimate the impact your actions can have because you never know what’s going on in that person’s life, and how much a small gesture can mean.
Has a stranger ever made your day with a simple act of kindness? I’d love to hear about it. Do share the love in the comments section below, in the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or by tweeting me on @cardiffmummy
photo credit: a night full of love via photopin (license)