This entry will be pretty short. Not because I don’t have much to say, but mainly because I think I can say what I need to say without saying a lot. Know what I’m saying?
We are 2 weeks removed from Valentine’s Day, which for many people around the country and the world put people thru a variety of emotions. For some, there was anxiety about forgetting to make plans with your better half or buy flowers and/or chocolate. For many others, there was a sense of mourning surrounding yes another awful tragedy that was unfolding, this time at a high school in Florida. And for some, it was just another Wednesday.
Now, if you think I am going to go in to a big story about how my wife surprised me with a V-Day dinner date without the kids because she had hired a babysitter and we were going to get 3 kid-free hours to enjoy each other’s company without a trio of under 5-year-olds interrupting our ever word, prepare to be disappointed (although this did all happen and I am forever thankful my wife pulled of this feat)
And if you think I will follow up this story with an equally engaging tale of about a group of valet parking attendants who had lost track of the keys and to whom they belonged and were literally pulling up in random cars, shouting out car models in hopes that one of the 30 people waiting for their cars in the cold was the owner of said car…I am not (but this also happened)
What I found most interesting about the evening was my 2 minute walk from the car to the house. Since the valet parking debacle made us 20 minutes late getting home to relieve our babysitter, I dropped my wife off at our front door rather than have her search for parking with me so our sitter could get paid and then get home as quickly as possible. I circled my block a few times, but it was late and most people had settled in for the night, so there were no open spaces. After about 10 minutes, I managed to snag a spot right next to the gas station that is only a short walk from our apartment building’s front door. I pass thru this gas station twice a day with all 3 of my kids on the way to school. It is well lit up all night, so it adds a great sense of security overnight and I quickly parked the minivan.
As I left the car, locked it up and made sure to push in my side view mirror (I won’t make that mistake again) . I crossed thru the gas station and who was still there? A young man who had set up a table a few days earlier to sell Valentine’s Day gifts . You know those folks you see setting up shop 2 or 3 days before Valentine’s Day with a fold up table, lots of single roses, bouquets and overpriced teddy bears for those men and women who liked the luxury of gassing up their vehicles and not going home empty handed. He was pretty low on products, which was good Considering Valentine’s Day was nearly over. He only had a few single roses and some heart shaped balloons left. I had seen him every day since he started selling his heart shaped merchandise in front on the gas station the weekend before V-Day, since I had to pass him to bring my older son to school with the twins right there along for the ride.
Little did I know that he had seen me.
As I said “Hey!” to him while he sat in his chair probably hoping to sell the last of his Valentines Day loot and be on his way, he said “Hey!” back and then grabbed a rose and ran up to me and said, “This is for you”. But before I could respond, I must had had a look of bewilderment on my face at being handed a rose because he quickly said “I see you everyday out here pushing those 3 kids back and forth to school man, so this for you”. I thanked him a few more times, and went on my way.
I was honesty choked up from the encounter because he sees 100’s of people daily, so I was genuinely surprised he recognized me without the kids in tow! But his generosity in that moment was just a really great gesture we don’t see enough of these days. It was his very simple way of saying “You are doing a good job as a dad”, and to have that come from someone you don’t even know is paying attention to you can really go a long way.
So, if there is someone out there you think deserves an “Atta boy” or just a smile of acknowledgement, share it with them. It could go a long way. And probably help you forget the Valet Parking debacle you managed to escape from with your actual vehicle and not the BMW you tried to claim as yours.
P.S. Writing less than 1000 words is keeping it short for me, so I win. J