No such thing as a selfless good deed?


Something nice happened today. I was at playgroup, sat in the corner with our regular ‘helper’ (see: staff member who is ALWAYS with one or other of the babies, making it possible for them to experience crafts, playing, riding bikes, etc one-to-one), a childminder I am friendly with, and a pile of children none of us knew.

A lady started approaching us, doing that half head tilt thing like she’s seen someone familiar and is trying to figure out where she knows them from. Problem is, she was looking at me.

I thought, maybe she wants to talk about babywearing (I’d already had a little babywearing consult with someone else ten minutes earlier), maybe she wants to talk about fertility treatments (hey, it happens), maybe she wants to compliment my kick ass Daisy Duck shirt, maybe….maybe she’s someone I am supposed to know?

She zeroed in on us and crouched down next to me. I smiled. Hey, you never know who is going to be your next new friend, right? (Yes, I am as saccharine sweet as I sound. I like meeting people, okay? So sue me.)

She says, ‘I think it’s you.’ I admit that non-plussed me. I mean, on the one hand, she is absolutely right. It is me. Who else would I be? She’s beaming at me and I get the distinct feeling she might be going in for a hug.

Before I can say, ‘Are you on glue?’ she rushes on..

‘Last winter I was in the big indoor carpark in town. I  had four poorly children with me. My twins were sick, my eldest had an infected leg, and her friend was crying. We’d walked all the way to the machine to pay, I started putting money in, and you gave me .10 because I was short. It is you, isn’t it?’

I nodded. ‘Yes, that was me.’

‘I wanted to come tell you thank you. Thank you so much. I was having the worst day ever, and you made things a little easier, and…well….thank you.’

That made me feel warm inside. And also a little stoked that I’d helped another twin mama without realizing.

I sometimes do little things to help people. Because other people have done things for me, and even tiny things can make a big difference. Never do I expect to see or hear from these people again.

In fact, I’d forgotten all about the harassed looking mother who was short on money. But here it is, a year later, and she recognized my face.

That made me feel powerfully good, and even more committed to doing the tiny things I do in the hopes that they can help someone else out. Because, let’s be real here, I count on the people – often strangers – who have gone out of their way to help me or my babies.

We should all look out for each other a little more, because you never know when you’ll need someone to look out for you. Or when one of your random acts of kindness will turn into a great conversation with a wonderful woman, a year down the road.

Karma can be wonderful.


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5 Responses to “No such thing as a selfless good deed?”

  1. Jem Says:

    Love it. The world needs more of you – if not for epic poop posts but for this 🙂

  2. Bobbie Says:

    I agree that Karma good or bad follows us around. I’m always the one to smile and open a door for a glaggle of people that don’t seems to notice that i’ve got a baby on my hip or back, a diaper bag wrapped around the opporite shoulder and usually a back up stroller incase Emma decides she would rather ride that “wear”. I know one day it will come back to me two fold. God at least I hope so otherwise i’m wasting a lot of time lol

  3. Jenni Williams Says:

    Gorgeous. Something so little matters so much.

  4. Winnie Says:

    love this 🙂 thanks for the reminder to spread the kindness around a little bit more.

  5. The Barreness Says:

    And isn’t it lovely that it’s often a very small thing that makes the difference? Your 10p (or c, I’m never sure!) or a kind word are barely anything to mention for the giver, but make a huge difference to the recipient. I remember at one of my many blood tests the previous patient giving the nurse a hard time. When she got to me she was grumpy and upset (and I’d been waiting a while!) and I just smiled and apologised for the previous person’s attitude. She broke down in tears, and thanked me profusely. I was almost a little embarrassed since I’d done so little, but your post is a good reminder that it’s worth doing one of these small things a day. Man, I sound really sappy. Next I’ll be recommending you see the movie Pay It Forward! (Don’t, it’s really bad).

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