Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sometimes, even seeing a small good deed can help lift your spirits

The hour was early, and the grocery store was very quiet. I'd only run in for a moment, hoping to grab a few items before work and be on my way.

Then I  heard it. The wailing of a child. It wasn't a big deal, really - grocery stores are often filled with children crying. But this had been a week so filled with sadness that I actually almost left - I simply didn't want to see anybody else in tears.

But I needed one more thing - a box of cereal. And I was so close, I figured I'd just get it and go.

As I rounded the corner, though, I saw the reason for the tears. A pink balloon, starting to float toward the ceiling.

A chubby little toddler was jumping up and down, trying in vain to catch the balloon's pink ribbon, and crying like she'd lost her best friend.  Her mother, apparently used to such calamities, was staying calm.

"It's OK," she reassured the little girl. "Don't worry. We'll find a tall man."

The little girl kept jumping, the balloon kept floating, and the mother quickly walked around the corner. The balloon was pretty high by now - too high for me to reach - and the little girl was starting to look a little frantic.

The mom reappeared. Sure enough, she had found a tall man.

He looked a little confused, and more than a little rough around the edges. He had on work boots, torn jeans, and an old jacket, and he looked a little sleepy.

But once the mother pointed to the balloon and explained her predicament, the man grinned. He jumped - he was indeed pretty tall - and grabbed the tail of the ribbon.

The little girl stopped crying at once, the tears still staining her cheeks.

"Maybe the tall man will tie the balloon a little better to your wrist," the mother said to her daughter and their new friend in that motherly way that makes it impossible to say no.

The tall man did just that.  He walked away, smiling.

So did I.

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