Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Surprised by Kindness

When our sweet Cole entered our lives, with him came a lot of stuff. It seems like our house is being taken over by baby stuff! Our living room's now home to a baby swing, toys, books, and baby bouncy jumper, to name a few. I remember thinking before we had a baby, "I am NOT going to be one of those people" know...the people whose homes look more like a large toy box when you walk in the front door rather than an actual home. Well....guess what?

I've succumbed.

I won't ever totally give in cause I want our home to be beautiful and appealing to me too, but I'm not going to worry about a few toys or baby things here and just goes to witness that a baby does live here and we don't keep him locked up in his room all the time. Haha!

Another huge change I've had to get used to is the enormous amount of stuff I have to take with me whenever Cole and I venture out of the Toy Box. Let's see.....Baby, carseat (which by the way weighs a million lbs), pacifier (an essential), blankie, diaper bag, stroller, my purse and me! That's a lot to cart around people! I am quite a sight strolling around places or taking him in his carseat to and from a store.

With all the extra things weighing me down, it's made me really aware of how some people can be so unkind. Now, I know that people who are out running errands are in a hurry and aren't always aware of their surroundings (ie: a weighed down baby mama like me) and they certainly aren't out in the world just to help me out, so really...I'm not complaining, it's just an observation I've made. Serious. It's just interesting to me that some people going into a store will move right past a person with a stroller and not offer to open the double doors for them....or even wait while they open the door and juggle keeping the door open while simultaneously pulling the stroller through the door...?? (reminds me of a certain parable...). What gets me most are the young guys. Chivalrous men are a dying breed....and it's sad. Am I the only one that feels this way? I hope not. I find myself more and more surprised when I encounter kindness from others rather than surprised by disrespect. It shouldn't be that way.....

Yesterday was different though. I was on the hunt to find some jeans to fit my newly trimmed down post-pregnancy body (boo hiss...not my favorite kind of shopping trip) and had to go in and out of many stores to find "the ones". As usual, getting around took a little extra time (I now have to think like a handicapped person when I use the stroller), but I was getting along fine. At one time when I was approaching a door and fully prepared to do the juggling act, I heard someone running (yes running) behind me to help me by opening the door so I could pass through with the stroller. Fully expecting it to be an older man or woman, I was surprised to see that it was a young guy who appeared to be in his late teenage or early college years. It totally caught me off guard because it was so obvious that he was making the effort to help me. I mean c'mon....he was running! It really warmed my heart, too. So maybe chivalry isn't dead?

Dear Lord,

Give me the strength to be an example of someone who is living in Your Spirit by showing kindness to others too...a fruit that can only truly come from living in You. I too often am too busy or distracted as well to see that others are in need. Encourage me to give grace to others who may not be able to extend this fruit because they do not have You living in them. And Lord, prepare me and Matthew that we might be able to raise our son(s) to first know and love You, that they might be an example of extending the fruits of Your spirit to others, too. We love you.



Grace said...

Oh, Gaily, I totally understand...and like you I have been surprised by the random acts of kindness and have gotten used to people NOT going out of their way even a little to help...not that I expect them too, but still, it's so nice when it happens! The people who usually help me are older moms who say "oh, I remember those days" and offer a willing hand to open doors. I want to raise our boys to be chivalrous because I do think that it is not as "popular" now as it should be, and I guess it is just not being taught as much.

As far as the toy dilemma goes, I hear you there too. And, I think that there can be a balance of baby and home-y. What I like to do is to store our toys that are in the living room in nice baskets...I found some great ones at Joann's that look a lot like the woven Pottery Barn ones...and it just makes things look so much cleaner and tidier when they're put up...and more "grown up" looking than if they were in some bright colored toy bins...not that anything is wrong with that, just not something I want in my living room! ;)

I love you, Gaily!!! We need to talk soon. Just because!

Emily Minich said...

Gail, I am totally with you about the chivalry (and about the living room being cluttered with kid stuff... :).....)

We are teaching our boys to hold doors open for ladies, and so far they've had a very good experience doing it. I've heard, though, about the women who get all mad when someone holds the door for them, and my most favorite line that I've heard a man reply is: I don't hold the door for you because you're a lady, I hold it because I am a gentleman.

Of course, I'd never teach my boys to say that, but I love the sentiment just the same.

So far we've managed to keep toys pretty much out of the living room, not just because I don't like the looks of it, but because Tim might trip on them. We'll see how it goes when we add baby stuff to the mix. We might just have to be carrying her items back and forth.

Also, I love your prayer at the end of your post.

I'm so glad you have such a happy little nest!