Pay it forward

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 10:41 PM


This post from my sister-in-law was fresh in my mind today as I experienced a little blooper of my own. (Do a lot of frazzled moms exhibit this particular behavior?)

After I got Devlin off to school, I came home to find the floor guys banging to wake the dead in the upstairs hallway. Downstairs is still a dusty, splintery mess, rife with irresistible mortal danger from a baby's perspective. That leaves...nowhere, so out of the house we went! I stopped at Sprouts to buy drinkable in-the-car breakfast for the girls, who had slept in, to consume on the way to our friend's house. Being a model of carefree efficiency, I thought it prudent to remove my wallet and keys from my bag and bring only them and a reusable grocery sack into the store instead of carrying my entire diaper bag, which admittedly contains more than is strictly necessary to purchase and transport 2 smoothies.

After a lovely productive morning rearranging furniture at Kim's - yes, I help friends rearrange furniture, for fun - I returned home to find the workers still banging away with wild abandon. So I left the girls in the running car and quickly ran inside to throw the grocery sack, still holding bananas, carrots, and the smoothie remains, into the fridge. Then, to get us all out of the house, we drove with David to Phoenix. He went to see a doctor about his sore shoulder, while I took the girls to Paradise Bakery for lunch.

Iris fell asleep 10 minutes before arriving at our destination, and she woke up as soon as the car stopped moving, so I was already flustered when we went in. Eve climbed on chairs, danced on barstools, and ran, slalom-style, between the legs of the other paying customers in line. Iris glared ferociously at nice old ladies who tried to tell her how adorable she was. I ordered, excited to try the new butternut squash bisque, but when I got to the register, I found I did not have my wallet.

Embarrassed, I excused myself and went to the car to retrieve it, thinking my bag must have tipped over, spilling some of the contents under one of the seats as sometimes happens. It was not there. I realized with a sinking feeling that it was in the grocery bag, in my refrigerator, at home. David was in a doctor's office without cell phone reception. If I wanted to eat - and believe me, I did - I was going to have to improvise.

I found Devlin's piggy bank in the back seat, fresh from spending his birthday money earlier in the week, and hoped he had enough coins in tithing and savings to cover our sandwiches. I went back in, saw the total was $14-something, and started stacking quarters, red in the face. The nicer people behind me in line were looking quizzical, and the ruder types looked as if they were contemplating calling the police on me for stealing money from my OWN CHILDREN. The shame!

Through tears that surely made me look even more stupid, if that were possible, I told the very patient cashier that I only had $11 and I would need to cancel my order. She didn't answer. I looked up, and she was gone. I started to gather my girls, my coins, and my lighter-than-it-should-have-been diaper bag, but just before I turned around to leave, the cashier reappeared, smiled, and handed me a receipt. She picked up the tray with our food on it, told me my meal was on the house today, and asked me if a quiet booth in the back of the restaurant would work for us.

I said I figured that would be just fine.

(So, Heidi, my rescue wasn't as dramatic as yours, but my wallet was in a weirder place!) It is people like this woman who save my children from seeing their feeble mother hauled off in a straitjacket, cackling with insane laughter, to a psychiatric unit. Leaving my wallet in the fridge unfortunately wasn't the last stupid thing I did today, but that kind soul planted in my path definitely took the edge off and helped us all limp through until bedtime.

I think I'll bring some cash in my pocket to the mall tomorrow...just in case.

Comments (7)

Yea! That is so nice. I love this story. So happy someone was there to take care of my sister.

I heard on the news the other day about a town that had had a 2+ week stint of coffee house customers "paying it forward" by paying for the person behind them. It made national news. Isn't that adorable? It's so nice to know there are people looking out for each other. We all need it sometimes.

Hooray for good people in the world! Thanks for sharing the feel-good moments as well as the hard ones (I realize this was a little of both).

This is such a nice thing to read. I love knowing there are people who care about other people. I bet that butternut squash bisque tasted extra delicious.

Here's where I come in with the questions though. Carrots in a smoothie, I get. Bananas in a smoothie, I get. But both carrots and bananas in the same smoothie? I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around that one. I guess I like my smoothies sans creativity.

No, see, the smoothies were of the store-bought, pre-made variety. The bananas and carrots were separate, unrelated entities. Nothing remotely creative is coming out of my kitchen this week, I assure you!

Ah, what a great story. Sorry you had to live it, though. :) People really can be sooooo nice.

Thank God for those people who recognize when being kind will go along way. I hope that cashier's karma brings her lottery winnings or something like that, because helping out a frazzled Mom is saintly. Love your blog.

Sorry, that should say "a long" way, not along way. Frazzled mom and all that...