What’s Happening Wednesdays: Life Affirmation (A Letter to a Lady I Don’t Even Know)

To the Mom at karate class who helped me clean up PowerAde off the floor:

We’ve never met before.  I’m not sure I’ve ever even seen you before yesterday…Though, more than likely, we’ve shuffled past each other on one of these Monday nights.  I’ve probably stood behind you in line as I write yet another check for weekly lessons.  For some reason or other, I don’t remember seeing you before.  But yesterday, you saw me and spoke life into my deflated spirit.

Yesterday, I fell a bit ill just in time to be late for karate class.  I pretty much pulled myself off the floor, and piled all three kids into the car.  Since I knew it’d be too dark to go to the neighboring park, I brought a few things along to entertain my two year old, while we sat in a hallway for 45 minutes, waiting for class to dismiss.  I brought a book, a pen, my cell phone and earbuds…and just in case she got thirsty, I even brought a PowerAde.  (That gym water fountain is disgusting, as you well know, yet it’s like a magnet to little toddler hands and mouths.)

Anyway, the kiddo made it about 20 minutes before she dumped a quarter of my orange Powerade to the floor.  She then attempted to splash in it.  The dad next to me didn’t even look up from his phone to see the sticky orange liquid drawing closer to his impressively clean tennis shoes.  The grandma behind me giggled a bit, and the couple behind her rolled their eyes and whispered amongst themselves.  I wondered if I was invisible (maybe I was hoping) as I threw the toddler over my shoulder, ran to the nearest restroom and grabbed an unopened pack of paper towels.

As I knelt on the floor mopping up another spill with substandard cleaning supplies, I heard your angelic voice.

“Would you like some help with that?”

And just like that you grabbed a stack of paper towels and started mopping with me.  You told me how you, too, were parenting a toddler, how keeping them entertained was difficult during that 45 minutes when normally you’d be eating dinner as a family, that you understood my struggle.  With that, we gathered up that last of those sopping wet paper towels and I uttered a huge thank you.

You didn’t know that I was sick.

You didn’t know that I’d had a difficult day at work.

You didn’t know that my other two children argued about everything from the time they got home from school.

You didn’t know that that very same toddler had just spilled half a dozen eggs on the floor right  before we left the house.

You didn’t know…and you didn’t care.  All you saw was another Mommy whose hands were full, and  you decided to lend your (temporarily) free hand to a perfect stranger.

I can never repay such kindness.  I just hope that next time your hands are full, somebody, anybody, steps up to help you carry the load.


Mama Radford





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