Monday, December 7, 2009

Tis the season to be weary

The holiday season makes me feel so warm and fuzzy and I love to hear the stories of people who do such selfless things for others. I know that those things happen every day, but around this time of year, I think people do them more and the news and such definitely talks about them more often.

Well, unfortunately, we've also been programmed in today's society to be careful of strangers and always be thinking of our safety. As a parent that is magnified. I am always aware of people around me in parking lots and where my kids are when we are out in public. I still like to use a stroller when we are at the mall only because that means I have one of them kids contained and can easily keep the other one close while I shop. It's just that while there are so many good people, there are too many people yet, that aren't good and we have to be careful.

So here's a couple stories for you:
Last week, I went to run some errands with Nathan, while Carson was at school. I finished at the Walmart and had my cart with Nathan in the front and the basket full of bags and bags. I was at the trunk of my car, shifting around the other things I'd bought that day to make room for all my bags to fit and the man who collects carts came up behind us. He was friendly and talked to Nathan and I some. He had a thick accent and Nathan didn't understand him much, but he was chatting with Nathan nonetheless. I had only begun to put my 20 or so bags into the car and so it was quite awhile before I was ready to go. I was nervous with him being there so close to us. I couldn't help but think, 'he could have taken that vest from the breakroom and not even really work here'. I kept looking around to see where others were in case I needed to scream or run. I asked him to take some of my heavy bags and put them into the passenger seat of the car to have some time with him away from us. Then when I was done, I got Nathan out of the cart and waited for him to take it away. He kept chatting with us about our holiday plans and I finally began to put Nathan into the car, but I left my purse on top of the car because I thought, if he wants to rob me, he can just take my purse and go. I wouldn't strap Nathan in because if this guy was going to steal my car, I wanted to be able to grab Nathan out. It was awful to have those things going through my head while this man was so nicely talking to us and making Nathan laugh by HO HO HOing like Santa. Finally, he took our cart and went and gathered other ones and I quickly fastened Nathan and jumped into the car with the doors locked. I felt awful for being so weary of such a very nice person.

That same night, Greg had taken the boys with him for a quick run to the grocery store for something I'd forgotten. On his way home, he called me and told me that he was in the neighborhood, but that someone was following him and flashing their lights and honking at him. He drove around and around, not coming to our house (as the police say you shouldn't go home if someone is following you). Finally he said he seemed to have lost the person. I told him to head home, but to pull into our neighbor's driveway (he's a big man) and I'd meet them outside. Then he said, the person was back, this time he could finally see the person and see that that it was a woman who was waving at him. He was near the house and other neighbors and he stopped the car. She came up to the car and bless her heart this woman was amazingly sweet. Greg had used the self-checkout at the grocery store and this woman was behind him in line, Greg had gotten cash back, but left it in the machine at the store. This angel of a woman rushed to finish her checkout and saw him leaving the parking lot and followed him all the way from the grocery store to our neighborhood and then around and around as he drove in circles trying to evade this kind follower.

So, while I still say, 'we must be careful', there are such wonderful people in this world and I hope that we can all take time to notice the wonderful people around us this holiday season and every day.


Jo-Ann said...

Those are beautiful stories. Thanks so much for sharing.

Maybe I am too naive, but I am not so weary of strangers. I believe that the news does to much fear mongering and has changed society for the worse because of it.

Glad you were able to run into such wonderful people.

Monkey's Momma said...

It is so sad that we must be so careful these days! Great stories!