It was an ordinary summer Wednesday. After a day at home with the baby, I was figuring out the activity that would fill the time between school pick-up and dinner—the hardest hour of the day. The big kid would want to do to the shadeless playground and it was HOT—no thanks. The community splash pad seemed like too much work for a short amount of time. Quickly running out of ideas that would appease all of us, I remembered the lovely schoolyard market that runs on Wednesday afternoon. Shade for me, lots of things for the baby to look at, and an afternoon treat for the big kid. Win, win, win.
We bounced from table to table grabbing fresh veggies and local coffee until we landed at the table for our beloved local bakery. “I want a cookie!!!” my daughter gleefully requested as she stared at the towering plate of chocolate chip cookies directly in her line of sight. We got into line and (mostly) patiently waited for our turn. In the few minutes it took for the people in front of us to grab their goodies, we talked solely about the cookie. We would get one to share. I would eat the small piece, she would get a lot. We were so excited for a cookie on a Wednesday afternoon.
The person in front of us was finishing up her order, two cookies. I was getting ready to roll my stroller up to the table when she turned around with a smile on her face and handed my daughter one of her cookies. I thanked her profusely. With that same smile, she then looked at me and said, “this is for you, just for being a mama, for being a good mama.”
In that moment, after that thirty-second exchange, I nearly fell into a puddle on the ground (and it wasn’t from the heat). It wasn’t just a chocolate chip cookie. As dramatic as it sounds, it was a moment that restored my faith in humanity. In a world full of busyness, divisiveness, and so much general distain, you forget that a stranger would buy you a cookie. That a stranger would see you and want you to know. That a stranger would show you a simple act of kindness and generosity.
And, aren’t these some of the most impactful moments in life? These moments in the everyday ordinary that change your life. I’m not talking about the the capital L “Life changing moments,” but those moments that simply ground you and bring a sense of gentleness that carries you through the rest of your day. That remind you to be a bit more generous, a bit more compassionate, a bit more kind. More than a week later, I am still thinking about that cookie, and I hope I don’t forgot it for a long time.
This post is part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to view the next post in the series “Ordinary Inspiration”.