So I have been thinking a lot lately about kindness. I’m not really sure why. Maybe it’s because Michael Jr is starting school, or maybe because I notice more people looking at Owen’s tongue. I mean, there probably is a million reasons why it’s been on my mind lately! When I think about it, I always wonder why kindness is so hard for people. Why is it so hard to just be genuinely kind to someone? I think that is one of my greatest fears as a mother. You can’t always shield your child from the ignorance of others. You can’t control how others treat your children. Simple little acts of kindness can really make all the difference in the world for someone. I know this because a few months ago that someone was me.
I don’t know if you all remember my post a few months ago about a woman named Kristy at the Oxford Valley , PA Kohl’s. If you have no idea who or what I am talking about I will refresh your memory! I went to Kohl’s one day a few months ago. I was at the end of my rope and extremely frustrated. For months I had been searching for shoes that would appropriately fit Owen. As a mother, I felt so frustrated because I couldn’t provide something as simple as a pair of shoes for my son. Everywhere I went I was told I would have to buy 2 pairs of shoes, but I was in luck! I could buy two pairs with a discount! I know in the stores mind they thought they were doing me a favor, but after a while I could only roll my eyes at that suggestion. In what world should I be excited and thankful that I have to pay extra money for shoes that will only fit Owen for such a short period of time, not to mention I have an extra mismatched set I won’t be doing anything with. And I get it. People don’t and can’t understand why an issue like this is so frustrating unless they experience it. My solution up to this point was to put shoes on him that fit his bigger foot. The poor thing kept losing the other shoe off his other foot because it was too big. Not to mention he was falling, stumbling, and tripping everywhere. So there I was at Kohl’s, my last ditch effort. I found a pair of stride rite shoes where you could remove the insole to make the shoe wider. That was an amazing feature. Especially because Owen’s right foot is SUPER WIDE. Like MEGA WIDE. Do they have that as a classification for shoes yet? Well they will now! I finally found a pair that fit him. The right foot was a size 8 and the left foot was a size 7. These shoes worked perfect for Owen, I removed the insole on the right foot which gave his chunky foot room to finally breath! I thought to myself, “great I finally found a pair of shoes that fit him well enough yet I have to suck this up and buy two pairs. But you get a discount!” I was rolling my eyes at myself now. I am not going to lie or act like it didn’t cross my mind to mix the pairs up on purpose and hope that they didn’t check the sizes when I got wrung up. Yep. If I remember right I am pretty sure I told Mike I was contemplating that and he yelled at me haha! The Catholic guilt I have made me put the shoes back in their appropriate boxes. I stared at the boxes for a while and fully was accepting that I would always be buying two pairs. I started convincing myself that it wasn’t a big deal. I imagined Owen before baseball or basketball games. I imagined trying to get him school shoes. All different scenarios flashed in my head as I stared at the two boxes. Then my determination set in. I picked up both boxes and headed to the registers. Mom on a Mission.
When I was in line, I was trying to go over how I would word my sales pitch. That’s literally how I felt. I had this conversation numerous times already and the answer was always the same. I fully expected to walk out of Kohl’s disappointed. I thought to myself, “what the heck, whats one more try? Here we go.” The young woman ringing me up was very sweet. I asked her if there was a manager I could talk to about the shoes I was trying to purchase for my son. That’s when my family received what seemed like a simple act of kindness from a stranger. Thats probably what it seemed to Kristy. But in reality that simple act of kindness from a stranger turned out to be a huge solution from someone who is now a friend.
Kristy was the manager that day and smiled at me and introduced herself. I began to explain Owen’s story. At that moment I was really wishing he was with me. First, for the cuteness factor. I mean who could resist an adorably huge baby who’s smiling at you with bleach blonde curly hair? Second, for some visual proof! I mean when you describe a BWS child it does sound kind of farfetched. I explained to Kristy how Owen’s feet are affected and how they are two different sizes. I asked her if there was anyway I could mismatch the pair to form a pair that fit Owen appropriately. I could tell she wanted to say yes but she apologized and said no. I was prepared for that because that’s the only response I ever got ! I persisted a little, not much honestly, because I was defeated and exhausted with my shoe quest. Then all of the sudden Kristy changed her mind. She told me she would damage out the other pair and that I could get the mismatched size. A 7 and an 8. I was floored. I quickly thanked her and got my wallet out to pay. I was moved with emotion at her simple act of kindness. I’m pretty sure I actually cried while I was wrung up at the register. I left the store with the biggest smile on my face and felt on top of the world.
One simple, single act of kindness. From a woman I had never met before. From a woman who could have told me no. From a woman who could have cared less about something that didn’t affect her. She left that day probably not even remembering it happened. Well I remembered. And I always will. I brought those shoes home to Owen that day and his reaction was priceless. He immediately wanted them on his feet. Kristy even extended her kindness after we connected on facebook. Owen is now a regular Kohl’s customer at Kristy’s store! She told us that he will always be able to get a pair of shoes that fit him correctly at Kohl’s. Owen just visited Kristy yesterday and bought his new pair of shoes. The same exact pair we got a few months ago in a 9 and an 8. These simple acts of kindness can be and usually are, really huge deals for the people on the receiving end of them. So here’s to people like Kristy. People who are kind, People who put others first. And to People who say yes even when it would have been easier to say no.