I interrupt this blog for a RAK…

August 17, 2012 at 10:04 am 2 comments


Coffee Cup from Blockbase in Electric Quilt.

In the line at Starbucks yesterday, I watched a young woman with a whole passel of kids (hers and her friend’s).

The little ones were all dithering about whether they wanted juice or hot chocolate or chocolate milk or… Mom calmly listened to their discussions and quietly told each person behind them to “please go ahead of us, we’re not quite ready.” When one little girl announced to the world at large “I have to go pee!” Mom escorted the whole lot of them back to the corner where her friend was watching a baby in a stroller and  took the little girl off to the washroom. Washroom break over, Mom rejoined the line and ordered drinks for everyone. Phew! All accomplished without any raised voices or angry words.

When my turn came, I ordered my coffee and followed the instinct that said “she deserves a reward” to add a small gift card. I wrote on the envelope “Good job Mom. Your next coffee’s on me” and tucked the card in her drink tray as she passed: she gave me a startled “thanks!”, but I purposely didn’t stay to see her reaction when she realized what she had been given.

In that 10-minute span, this Mom modelled respect for the children, courtesy and consideration for others, problem solving, and ability to adapt to the needs of the moment. But, it may be 20 years or so before she really sees the long-term results of her good parenting in the young men and women who learned those skills from their Mom.

Lest I give the wrong impression, I confess I’m more often grumbling about ill behaved children and oblivious or rude parents than observing moms and dads who are doing a good job. So, here’s my challenge to all the other Grandmas for these last hot days of summer before the kids go back to school here in North America. When you’re at the coffee shop, the mall or at church, pay attention to the kids who aren’t making a fuss and the parents who are coping, even if they are a little frayed around the edges. Take a moment to do something small to say “well done”.

Twenty years is a long time to wait for a little encouragement for the toughest job anyone can do well. I’m praying for that young mom today, and thankful for a small opportunity to be an encouragement along her path. May her children rise up to call her blessed! [Proverbs 31:28]

God bless!

Kim

PS…in case anyone hasn’t heard the term: RAK = Random Act of Kindness

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Kim’s [Virtual] Design Wall: BLOCK MORPH Sunday Morning: Potato Bread

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Barbara Greenman Green  |  August 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    A month or so ago, I witnessed some wonderful parenting, too. A couple with a baby, and two children about 6 and 10 were eating dinner at the table next to me in a restaurant. They totally engaged the 6 year old with a verbal ‘game,’ while giving attention to the baby. The 10 year old was occupying himself. Dinner took a while to come… it’s summer in a very vacation destination area of MI. I expressed my enjoyment of watching their interaction. This is total contrast to another incident of a family with four grade-school to middle-school aged children. Both parents spent dinner time texting while the children were coloring with materials given them by the staff. I’m imagining the relationship these children will have with their parents in 20 years – likely none!

    Reply
  • 2. bettythreadbear  |  August 18, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Kim – agree 100%. My only similar actiions are: Know how totally annoying it is when you are talking to customer service on the phone and just can;t seem to get them to GET IT? It can mess up the rest of the day. Now, know how totally awesome it is to talk to someone in customer service who not only GET IT, but FIXIES IT???? Those are the ones I ask to speak to their manager so I can tell them that “Suzie” did an excellent job today. Both “Suzie” and the manager are always so taken aback to have someone say…” I have no problem complaining about poor service, so I also have to commend good service” and I proceed to compliment the support person, the good staff the manager has and the good team the company has……. I truly need to be on the lookout for those exceptional families. I know they are out there !

    Reply

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