Monday, March 8, 2010

The Power of Kindness

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 sun reflecting off the white snow 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 next-door neighbor's 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 black trousers, black boots and a dapper black hat 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 to their drive 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…came down to retrieve the mail...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 steep drive. 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.


video

...and consider yourself officially hugged...if only "cyberly". (Yeah, I know...not a word...)
But it's the thought that counts...


Gavin said...

I love that video. And that song. And that band. It's nice to see that at least some young kids are being raised right though. Any girl who meets your boys will be very lucky I think.

WannabeVirginia W. said...

Hug back, what an fine young man you have.

Runnergirl said...

You should be sooo proud. I don't know a single teenager in our area that would do the same without being asked and without protesting.

momcat said...

That brought tears to my eyes. Its such a proud moment for us moms when our kids help others without our prompting and because they have seen a need. Those lessons and your own example to your kids have stuck!

Gigi said...

Aww Kathryn! What a good boy! I know you are soooo proud! What a fine man (and human) you are raising!

BlackLOG said...

I'm waiting for the local press story :-
"Little old couple found starved to death after they spent four hours getting down their driveway on their way to the local shops. They were having a quick breather when they found themselves whisked back inside by an over enthusiastic neighbour, who ignored their desperate protests. Police are currently looking for the Clooneyesc villain and his grinning accomplice "

Sorry that's a bit mean, what I was trying to say was, "Well done Taylor, who says there is no hope for the younger generation?" but it came out all BlackLOGed....

ValleyWriter said...

Aww!! That warmed my heart - go Taylor, go Mom!

jh said...

Awesome!

brite said...

Yay!! I love knowing about how good people really are!

lifelove'n'wine said...

Oh Kathryn, what a wonderful son you are raising:) Thanks for the smile!

Love the video too.

E. Peevie said...

Kindness is the best.

Spot said...

You know this is all because you're radical, right?! Haha. Fantastic job there momma bear. He just did you proud!!

♥Spot

Tinkerschnitzel said...

It's wonderful to see the children you raise put into practice what you taught them without a second thought. Glad you could see they are turning out right. :)

Krista said...

Aw... you're doin' a great job Kathryn. That's what that means. Thanks for the cyberly hug. :o)

Jen said...

What a nice boy you have. It is so great to see things like that happen. And, you were lucky enough to witness it.

Erin@TheLocalsLoveIt said...

Just wonderful. Hugs right back at you.

Kim said...

Our children's simple acts of kindness make us realize that it is then that we know for sure our legacy will live on...beautifully.

Christopher said...

awwwwwwwww, thats cool

*G*R*U*N*T*I*L*D*A* said...

This is a real feel-good post Kathryn...just what everybody needs posted just at the right time...HUGS!

uo-chan said...

hmm yeah i agree with you there i mean hugs are the best medican you should check out my picture i put up for spring break i might not reply atoumaticly cus im on sprig break so later ^_^

Noelle said...

TO EVERYNE WHO READS THIS BLOG: Can you possibly see this woman's talent, her way of expressing herself, making her heart, funny bone, whatever it may be, jump SMACK off of this page and into your faces, is there anyway to see her NOT becoming something just a bit more well known for what she does?
Primarily because she'd be the first one (okay, close to the first)to say, "No WAY, it's okay, I'm happy just to be happy", (and she is). I just can't help but see this thing grow and grow and grow, I've had some other people point this out to me about Kat; and I just wanted to go on record as saying that I can't wait to read this woman's first novel, it's going to be a screamer, with a silver bullet, doncha think?
Thanks Kat, yet again! This has become the first column that I read every day, and it is, a column.
I want the world to know that you deserve to get paid for this and someone (you know who you are) take note.
Take it from a former columnist (whoever THAT may be!), someone who was permitted to do this in a major newspaper, in a large city, daily. Who still would be, had she not decided to stop and blog while I write that book that's.....
For all of you who think that this is just wierd, it's not. Kat's talented, and I see her talent growing more powerful and concise almost weekly. She is an entertainer, and she's succeeding.
And Taylor, I hope that you know that you have brought up one heck of a great mom!
~M

JennyMac said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post...from your awesome details of Taylors assist to that amazing video.

Kristy said...

Yay! You've raised him well. He's a good guy (and he'll always be your baby!).

Alicia said...

First I wanna ditto everything Noelle said above and then I want to add that you have raised a fine human being and you need to give yourself a hug, and a cyber hug from me and a cyber hug from George Clooney. I know he would give you one if he read your blog.

Fierce said...

With such an awesome mom, what's to be expected? It's only natural that he would be a George-Clooney-in-the-making AND an awesome person to boot, he's got you to look up to (and Clinton too). Big cyber-hugs Kathryn!

:)
xoxo

KT said...

I love how you noticed and are mentioning him in your blog. Even though he did an act of kindness to the old couple you did an even bigger one by actually recognizing your son and saying it aloud. Being a mom is hard (as I'm beginning to understand), but being a good, appreciative, understanding, grateful mom? Well, that's even harder and I think you're that kind of mom and THAT makes me smile.And your son as even more confirmed my belief that there are actually good people in the world. So thank YOU.

Dreamfarm Girl said...

You've raised yourself a fine boy there, Kathryn! I am smiling with happiness for you b/c I know just how great it feels when our kids do us proud, and especially when it's an act of kindness and caring. Good going and yay for Taylor!!

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Aw, your boys sound so amazing. You should be so proud. I love this story; I saw it all happen right in my mind. I feel like I know your driveway after this winter from your blog, so I just had to plug in the humans. Hug right back at you!

Wendy Blum said...

Well you have done a great job of raising your sons to have manners and be proper gentlemen =) KUDOS to you, Kathryn and all the other parents doing a stellar job of raising their kids!
*side note*
think my comment problem is fixed. and thank you for letting me know =)

Oddyoddyo13 said...

That was so sweet! Taylor did a good thing, even though he's got the whole it-was-no-big-deal thing going. You raised him right, and you should be proud.

As for the ad, well, it was so amazing! I wished there was more stuff like that out there. *hugs back*

kathryn said...

Gavin: Aw, Gav...what a lovely, sweet thing to say. I appreciate that...I really do. It's a great video, right?

WannabeVirginiaW: Thank you, sweetie. I wholeheartedly agree.

Runnergirl: Thank you. I AM incredibly proud...(obviously! I've told all of you guys!) He's an amazing guy.

momcat: I know just what you mean! It's like I'm finally starting to see the end result of all this parenting...little glimpses into the man he's becoming.

TAG said...

When our children do something like this it is obviously because of good parenting. What else could cause such kindness and thoughtfulness to spring from a teenager.

When we get that call from the police station just to chat about your child, you know it has to be genetic. Yes, in those cases the demon spawn reverting back to being like your in-laws.

There simply is no other explanation.

Congrats. Looks like it was a good parenting day. :D

TAG

kathryn said...

Gigi: Thanks, sweetie. I totally agree. Isn't is lovely when we see some of our hard work actually start to pay off? I'd always hoped he wouldn't be this apathetic kid...so far, so good!

BlackLOG: HA! No, I can appreciate how (in your own twisted way) it could all have gone terribly, horribly wrong. Luckily, they just got their mail and no elderly people were harmed in the making of this post.

ValleyWriter: Yay! Taylor rocks!

kathryn said...

jh: Thanks, sweetie! He's a good kid, right?

brite: I know...it renews my faith that not everyone is out to screw everyone else, which is how I've felt lately.

lifelove'n'wine: Well, thank YOU for the kind words...it's a great video, right?

E. Peevie: Yes, and it's WAY under used these days, it seems. Especially the random acts of kindness.

Fierce said...

By the way, that ad was priceless. Great message AND it made me feel better

Allegria said...

Don't you love it when you catch a glimpse of who your kids REALLY are when the chips are down? I loved this. Hugs back, and another one for Taylor. He's growing to be a wonderful man. Gives all of us a bit of hope for our own children growing up good and kind in a world that tries to put the kybosh on such things. Kudos.

kathryn said...

Spot: Thanks, sweetie. I'm "radical"? Awesome! (Smiles) High praise...from one who KNOWS!

Tinkerschnitzel: Thank you...and you are so right...it's fabulous to see that some of what we're teaching 'em is sticking!

Krista: You're welcome...sometimes, we just need one of those, right?

kathryn said...

Jen: I know! I actually saw the whole thing unfold! Didn't have to hear about it second-hand! Lucky me!

Erin@TheLocalsLoveIt: Thanks, sweetie. A feel-good post to honor a feel-good moment!

Kim: Aw...how beautifully expressed! You are correct, of course....and it creates immeasurable pride in those of us lucky enough to say we've raised that person with those values, right?

kathryn said...

Christopher: Uh-huh...definitely an "awwwww!" moment, if ever there was one!

GRUNTILDA: Aw! I'm glad you enjoyed it! We all could use some extra hugs these days, right??

uo-chan: Nothing beats a good hug!

kathryn said...

Hey Noelle! I'm still grinning from ear to ear from this unbelievable, rave review! I am honored to receive such praise from someone that I admire so very much....you are my hero...and your words mean more to me than you'll ever know.
I am truly blessed to have some amazing, talented people who make the time to read my (often) mundane words and then take the additional time to comment...and for that, I am forever grateful. I am one lucky gal. Thanks so much for the lovely comment! xoxo

kathryn said...

JennyMac: I'm so glad! I don't usually gush (to this degree)...but God...I thought my heart would burst with pride! It was a short leap from that feeling to remembering that video. I appreciate the kudos!

Kristy: Oh, yeah...I'd never understood when women would talk about their "babies" being in their 20's....but now I'm starting to see what they meant. Ya just love 'em more.

Alicia: Wow! You really pulled out all the stops with this comment, sweetie! I am totally golden! Seriously, though....thank you. Your kind words mean so very much...in more ways than you realize. I'm so glad to know you!

kathryn said...

Fierce: Thank you, doll! I've got some wonderful sons...yes, I do. And I'm so lucky that I have such wonderful people I can brag to!

KT: No...thank YOU for this amazing, insightful comment, sweetie. And I totally hear you...lately, I've felt disappointed by many people's actions in my life, so it was an honor and privilege to share Taylor's selfless moment. It's so easy to get lost in the hardships of parenting (especially when they're young and wear us OUT!)...but the proof of our efforts sometimes don't show themselves till later on. Trust me!

Dreamfarm Girl: Thank you! He's given me a run for my money, this middle-child-of-mine...so it's especially poignant to see such a tender moment emerge. I hope it's only the beginning. It makes it all worth it, right?

Maureen@IslandRoar: Ha! That's so true....I'm sure you'd no trouble picturing the whole scenario! And yes, fellow Mama....we done good.

kathryn said...

Wendy Blum: Thank you, sweetie. It's so important that we raise these boys to turn into decent MEN...ya know what I mean? Oh and I'm SO GLAD you got my message about your comment problem...I couldn't find any way to reach you!

Oddyoddyo13: Well, heaven-forbid Taylor acknowledge his soft side! I guess that's a no-no amongst his peers. As for the ad, I agree. We all need to see more of THAT...and less of the usual, boring stuff!

TAG: HA! That's exactly the reason we need to celebrate these moments...'cause I'm not so naive to think they happen all that often! (Although, I'm hoping they'll happen with more frequency, the older he gets) One can only hope. Of course, all the GOOD moments can only be because of ME.

Fierce: I'm so glad you liked it. Makes me feel good every time I see it.

Allegria: Thank you....I feel the same way. It's moments like these that give me great hope for our future...and the future of all our children. Now, remind me of this moment when I'm ready to throw myself down the stairs....

Heather said...

He just gave you another notch in your "Your a good mother" belt.

Kudos to you for resisting the mama bear hug!

Jerry said...

This restores my faith in kids..and their mom's that did something right in raising them.

kathryn said...

Heather: You're right! I got the cosmic "thumbs up" for that one. I'm so proud of him!

Jerry: I know. It kinda (sorta?) makes up for all those times when you look at parents (or ourselves) and wonder, "What were you thinking?"

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