Posts Tagged ‘thank you’

Thank You For Kindness

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Caroline is still sick with some sort of head cold that manifests itself in snot, misery and a need to be held constantly. Evan isn’t sick with anything I can identify, unless you count being incredibly three-ish a medical condition. Even my new and improved hug-my-babies-tighter-appreciate-every-moment mentality is being put to the test by his completely unreasonable screaming and hitting. I am still hugging him tighter and appreciating my children but I’m doing it while holding back tears of frustration. Those are the days when the best I can do is be thankful that tomorrow will be (HAS to be) better and I am still lucky in so many ways.

Despite the less than ideal conditions in the Davis house now life goes on, the holidays get closer, and everyone needs to be fed…which means we have to leave the house. I’ve been dreading it with every fiber of my being clenched so hard I might break a bone. At home my children can only bother me. In public they can bother everyone. Everyone just trying to get their last minute packages sent and pick up their Christmas ham and buy wrapping paper and get through the day. Everyone who probably has bigger problems than a kid with a runny nose and who don’t deserve to be coughed all over in line for coffee.

But instead of scowls and angry glares, we experienced nothing but kindness. I came home on the brink of tears (I feel like I’m always on the brink of tears these days) not because I was upset but because I was so touched by the kindness around me. Thank you, to everyone:

Thank you to my friend Sara who was extra patient and helpful with my kids during her visit, although I’m afraid I might have scared her out of ever having children.

Thank you to the elderly gentleman in the parking lot who brought me a cart when he saw me trying to bundle a whining Caroline out of the car and into the grocery store.

Thank you to the deli counter ladies who did their best to cheer Caroline up with slices of cheese and compliments.

Thank you to the meat counter guy, the produce guy, the man in the frozen section, the lady in the baking aisle and the cashier who all sympathized with me over how hard it is to get things done when your child isn’t feeling well and wished us health and happy holidays rather than judging me for bringing my sad baby out in public.

Thank you to the Toys R Us employees who were pleasant and helpful during what I know must be a really rough time of year to be a Toys R Us employee. You helped me make a little kid in New York’s Christmas wish come true.

Thank you to the woman at the post office counter who helped me label and box a last minute package while my arms were full of a toddler who wouldn’t let me put her down for even a second.

Thank you to Evan’s teachers who sent home a second jingle bell in his backpack for his sister so they can both believe in the magic of Christmas when we read The Polar Express tonight.

Thank you to everyone going out of your way to be just a little bit kinder or more patient this year. I don’t know if it’s the holiday spirit, our sense of community in Connecticut right now, or just extremely good luck that I’ve encountered so many nice people but I appreciate it more than words can say. My faith-in-humanity meter is no longer hovering below empty. I promise to return the favor.

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How To Celebrate Veterans Day

Friday, November 11th, 2011

It’s that time of year again when everyone from department stores to car dealerships to hair salons suddenly wants to “support the troops”. Companies are hoping to cash in on Veterans Day now and then carry it through the holiday season, which is often a difficult and emotional time for military families. Many vets are alone or struggling, children are missing their deployed parents, and families are stationed far away from the comforts and familiarity of home.

You can call it pessimism if you want, but I am not a fan of corporations using our troops and veterans to sell more stuff. It feels manipulative and cheap. They’re selling more hamburgers and greeting cards, not actual support. What about the men and women who are living those artfully lit, sad background music commercials every day? Support is letting them know we haven’t forgotten about their sacrifice. Support is given with love in mind, not profits.

No matter how you feel about the current conflicts – or war in general – our military is a vital part of keeping all Americans safe and free in an imperfect world. Buying a box of cereal is not the best you can do.

So how can you support past and preset service men and women?

- On a large scale, vote for those who support veterans (and don’t vote for those who don’t) and encourage your representatives to pass legislation that helps veterans get jobs.

- Be aware of the mental health challenges facing veterans. If you see a vet  or their loved one struggling or suspect they need someone to talk to, pass on the number for the Vet Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255 press 1) or help them access veteranscrisisline.net.

- Visit a nursing home and ask to sit with a veteran for an hour to listen to their story. Do you have a relative who is a veteran? Ask if they’d be interested in recording their memories on video or audio to share with future generations.

- Send a care package to someone currently serving. AnySoldier.com is  great resource to find service men and women with specific needs.

- Support the USO directly, either with a donation or by volunteering your time.

- Call a friend who’s in the military to chat. Bring dinner to a mom whose husband is deployed. Pick up the tab for a service member at a restaurant. Help a local organization clean up veterans’ graves. Volunteer to babysit so a couple can spend some time together before they’re separated by the military again. Do one small thing today that shows you appreciate a vet.

And remember it doesn’t have to be Veterans Day for you to do any of these things. Our men and women in uniform serve 365 days a year and memories of their service last a lifetime.

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