I was at the grocery store the other day with Ascher, stealing a quick outing for milk, diapers, and sanity while Ben watched Wilona. I was driving up the aisle right in front of the doors and just starting to turn in to a spot about twelve spaces back from the door. It seemed close enough for me, but a man right up at the top spaces waved wildly at me and gestured to a space near him. I drove further up and sure enough, the very first space was wide open and waiting for me. The man grinned and gave me a conspiratorial thumbs up and I grinned back and returned the gesture, extremely amused and pleased. I’ve never thought to do that for someone before.
Then as I was getting Ascher out of the back seat one of the store employees was bringing his collection of carts into the store and stopped to offer me one of them. I took it and thanked him and did my shopping and when I had loaded the groceries and Ascher back into the car I took the cart up to the front of the car and was about to leave it there. (I usually try to park next to a cart corral, but if I can’t I’m certainly not going to leave my babies in the car while I walk the cart over to where it belongs.) As I was about to leave the cart the same employee calls out to me that he’ll take it. My first thought was slight embarrassment to be spotted as one of the people who makes the cart gatherers lives harder, but overall I left the store that day thinking that people had been unusually more kind than normal. Not that people are usually unkind, but just that people are frequently indifferent. It was refreshing to be reminded that people do sometimes enjoy taking an extra moment to help, even if it was just for very small things.