As a mother, we’ve all been there–anxiously standing in line at a store waiting to check out so you can get on with the million other tasks you have to complete that day.
And, although we hate to admit it, sometimes it’s a bit difficult being patient and understanding when you just want to get your shopping trip the heck over with! Well, Facebook user Gina Murrow had this exact experience as she waited in line at Jo-Ann Fabric not too long ago.
She begins her story explaining how there were two people ahead of her, and many more customers behind, and how she was a little less than thrilled to be caught behind a woman with a 4-year-old boy who was clearly over their fabric store trip.
“I’m ashamed to say I inwardly groaned; I was too tired to feel patient with whiney boys,” Gina shared on Facebook. However, another customer saw this as an opportunity to strike up an upbeat conversation with a sweet, tired little boy.
“‘Gummy bears!’ she exclaimed, pointing at the bag of sweets the boy was holding. ‘I love the yellow ones! Which are your favorite?'” Gina recounted. “She was so warm, friendly, and inviting, immediately the boy smiled and responded. They carried on a lively conversation about candy bears and their cheerfulness began to spill over into the line.”
Gina turned around and couldn’t help but notice the warm smiles across all the other customers’ faces. Then, when it was the kind stranger’s turn to head to the cashier, she urged the mother and young boy to go ahead of her.
She turned to the woman and commented on how nice of her that was, and the stranger chuckled. “Ah, well, it’s the least I could do. He was doing well, but I could tell he was getting tired,” she told Gina.
Gina recounted the wistful look on the stranger’s face as she watched the mother and son duo check out. “‘My son passed,’ she said softly. ‘That could have been me… ‘” she revealed to Gina. “Then she gave herself a little shake and the conversation turned back to cheerful observations about adorable 4-year-old customers.”
The kind woman waved to her young new friend as he and his mother left the store, and once again Gina noticed the warmth on everyone’s faces. “Here was a woman bearing a hidden pain, but she gave back joy, compassion and kindness to everyone around her,” Gina explains. “We can learn from her example. As you go about your day look around and behind you, and see what simple kindness you can leave in your wake.”