Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Kindness of Strangers

So, we’re getting ready for our twice-monthly marathon drive for the boys to see their dad. We’re loading up the car in the garage and I hit the button to open the garage door.

The dazzling summer sun blinds me for a second and when my eyes adjust, I have to squint…not sure of what I’m seeing. Stopped at the end of my driveway, I see an elderly lady…I wanna say she’s about 80 and a gentleman, who looks at first glance to be about 115. The fact that he was stick-thin, wearing oversized khakis shorts, black socks and sandals did nothing to make the years melt away. The fact that he looked exhausted and was resting his hands on the handles of an empty wheelchair…whilst facing up the hill was what really caught my attention.

“What the --?” I begin to say, when out of the corner of my eye I see Taylor, all 6’2”, muscular Clooney-in-the-making…jogging down the drive towards the now slightly startled couple.

I smile to myself as I lean against my car and try to lip-read his gentle offer of assistance. I can’t hear them, as they’re just a little too far away…but I see the woman’s smile and feeble protest…and I hear a snippet of “…needs the exercise…a bit steeper than we’d thought…”

And I’m thinking “Don’t give up, Tay…ask again…they don’t want to be a bother…” as I'm reminded of Pooh Bear.

A few more words are spoken and then I see the woman's smile and Taylor and she begin to move the gentleman into the waiting arms of that chair that somehow seems way too big for his small frame and then they’re off…ever so slowly…up the hill. In the back of my mind, I’m hoping Tay can somehow resist the 16-year-old urge to sprint…leaving the poor woman in the dust and the man windblown and dazed…but, I had nothing to fear.

Minutes later, I see him jogging towards the house…his face a mask…any emotions tucked safely away behind that careless, practiced, disinterested look I’ve grown to recognize. There will be no open discussion of this random act of kindness on his part…and I must quell the desire to envelop him in a momma-bear-hug, settling instead for a smile and an “Oh, Tay…”, for which I get just the ghost of a smile back. That’ll have to do…for now….but, oh…I am so proud of him.

Enjoy the award-winning feel-good ad below. It’s one of my favs.

Anonymous said...

What a great job you have done raising your boys, as Taylor's act of kindness shows. Good job, mom!!

Straight Guy said...

Friendly teenagers? Free Hugs? What? Must not succumb to warm fuzzies... must stay strong... oh dang it! You win.

Straight Guy types first emoticon EVER.... :)

Happy now?

kathryn said...

Gee, I'm more than happy...I'm honored. And don't worry SG- your secret's safe with me.

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