IN OTHER WORDS | Take My Gloves

Since moving to Austin, Texas three years ago, my family and I have benefited from the kindness of others many, many times. Strangers, new friends, neighbors, teachers, customer service people, you name it. This place is brimming with kindness. Call it Southern hospitality, call it Southern charm. I call it humanity and I like it. These people have got my back.

Exhibit A:

My younger son had an early morning baseball game, we were at the field by 8:30, no sun by the bleachers, and it was unseasonably cold. I went to the car for a blanket. As I headed back to the bleachers, I found myself walking instep with another mom. I’d never seen her before, but I smiled, we said “Hello” and, just to make conversation, I said “Boy, I almost wish I’d brought gloves today.” It was just commentary on the chill.

“Oh, do you need gloves?” she asked, concerned.

“Well, no, I mean, I was just saying, it’s chillier than I expected.”

She reached in her pocket.

“Here, take mine.” She handed me a pair of cute black and yellow striped gloves. “They’re warm, and they even have little pads on the tips so you can use your smart phone.”

Say what?!

She was holding them out to me; I had to take them.

“Don’t you need them?”

“Oh no, I’m fine. I’m not cold.”

I stammered. What the what?

“Are you on Field 7 too,” I asked, thinking, OK, I’ll wear them for the game and return them, she’s probably with the other team. She’s very kind.

“Oh, no,” she said without a care, “I’m over on 35,” which I knew was way heck on the other side of the fields.

“Oh, thanks, but I mean, how would I get them back to you?” At this point, we were at my bleachers. I’m still kind of stumped by all of this. I mean, I’m from Philly.

“Really, keep them. You’re cold, you need them. They’re not fancy, I got them at Target; they were like $2.” She was smiling, completely at ease.

“That’s really kind of you. Thank you, you made my day.”

“Sure, have a great weekend.”

The gloves are now mine. I still smile whenever I put them on. I wore them today. And, I used the little pads to Swype on my smart phone. After all, she had them, I needed them. What else was there to discuss? Now, that’s kindness.

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Comments

  1. Love this. I’m kinda inspired now to be kind to someone! (I’m not from Philly, lol).

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    • It really makes you want to be kind. I have typically been that way, pretty outgoing and helpful and a lot of times I get the side-eye, like, WTF? Leave me alone crazy lady. Here, it’s just normal behavior. It’s heartwarming. My kids have noticed it too and they are learning from it so that’s a huge win. Opening doors for elders, stuff like that.

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    • We lived in Seattle before coming here, and it’s more reserved there, not mean, just keep to yourself. I like this better.

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  2. Kindness counts and random acts of kindness are jewels. What a sweet reminder. Thank you for sharing this story.

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  3. Texans are pretty friendly, it is one of the things I noticed while living there.

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  4. It really is the smallest things isn’t it. I have a new friend (ironically moved from Texas) that during one of our baseball games when I commented on how cute her ribbon hair ties were, slipped one off her wrist and just gave it to me to keep. Maybe silly to be, but I was so touched. 🙂

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    • Nope, those are the things that touch us so deeply. She didn’t need to do it. But it made you happy. It’s that thinking outside yourself sense, that idea that you’re a part of something bigger. Really means a lot. I have so many stories, some even bigger. One day, my youngest, 8 at the time, had to get sick so I pulled over, he got out, got sick and was sitting on the sidewalk just catching his breath. We were on a big suburban type road, ten cars stopped to see if we needed help, one woman came over, asked if I wanted her to go buy us a bottle of water, did I need anything. I said no, thanks, we were just a few minutes from home, just coming from the doctor. She went back and told the entire parade of cars we were OK, they could go on, no need to worry. My son and I were flabbergasted. He said “Mom, people here are so nice.”

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  5. postpostmoderndad says:

    It’s funny how small things can have a big and/or lasting impact. This day for NaBloPoMo was the one prompt I took on because the kindness of a stranger had a lasting impact on me. It was the only prompt I used for my blog this NaBloPoMo. Sometimes I try to remember to do the same in kind, sometimes it really does just take a small gesture, one that II can make.

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  6. Jenny was my new neighbour and welcomed us to our new home with cookies! Such a lovely gesture and made us all so happy to move into the neighbourhood.xx

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