The rest of the story

I recently heard the sequel to a story I didn’t know had a part two.

Part one goes something like this…

I was helping with my youngest daughter’s Friendship Party at her school on the day before Valentine’s.

A dad of one of the other kids brought several bags of Wedding Cookies to the party and handed them out to all the moms who helped with the party. “How sweet,” I thought at the time and set them on our kitchen counter when I got home.

Wedding cookies from the Friendship Party

But that’s not the whole story.

This week my youngest came home and said that one of the other kids – Vincent – was making a funny noise during reading group…kind of like a crying sound in the back of his throat. (footnote: Vincent’s dad was the one handing out cookies at the party.)

The teacher asked Vincent if he wanted to lay his head on his desk and take a break. He did.

When Vincent went back to his desk, the teacher explained to the other kids in the reading group that Vincent’s mom got sick last year and passed away. Sometimes Vincent makes that sound when he’s missing her.

As my daughter was telling me the story, the pieces clicked into place. I realized Vincent’s dad was handing out cookies because his wife couldn’t be there to help with the party. He was thanking the moms who could.

All of a sudden, that gesture meant so much more. The back story multiplied the blessings of the gift.

It got me thinking…how often do ideas flit through my mind? Small kindnesses I can do for others? And how often do I let them get away without any action on my part?

So yesterday, my small act of kindness was to take cornbread and milk to my grandmother. She lives in an assisted living community, so her meals are prepared for her. She doesn’t get much say in what she eats. But I know that one of her favorite treats is cornbread crumbled into a glass of milk.

Her eyes lit up when she saw what I had brought. She tucked into her treat with great enthusiasm. And I was blessed to see her enjoy it.

Let’s talk: Have you witnessed any small acts of kindness lately? Were you on the giving end or the receiving end? How did it make you feel?

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