Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The sometimes surprising kindness of strangers

This morning the boys and I went to the park with our playgroup for a little play time and some fun with sidewalk chalk.  The older boys had a great time running around playing "star wars"  (what else!) with their buddies and Baby-Bug enjoyed throwing the chalk in the garbage can one piece at a time ;-)

Towards the end of our play date a group of late-teens/early-twenties guys on skateboards stopped near the playground to use the water fountain.  Baby-Bug was instantly locked onto the skateboards and hopped off the see-saw to get a closer look.  As he approached the group, the guys started talking to him and he babbled excitedly and pointed to their skateboards.  One of the guys handed his skateboard to Baby-Bug and Baby-Bug happily bounced up and down while he held it.  I was standing near by getting a kick out of the whole exchange when all of a sudden the young man said to Baby-Bug "You like that? It's yours!" and the three of them turned and walked away! So, Baby-Bug proudly toted home a skateboard that is bigger than he is and I remain amazed at the sometimes surprising kindness of strangers.  I have found the greatest acts of kindness have often come from the most unexpected places.

*and now I will be off to buy a helmet ;-)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Much on my mind

Today was. 

In order to fully understand today, I have to take you all on a journey back to yesterday.  Yesterday being the day I ran out of milk, cheerios and bananas.  This may sounds like a minor irritation to most of you, but in a house with three small boys this is a crucial emergency.  My children cannot start their day without a bowl of cereal and a banana.  I can make oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, crepes, cinnamon rolls - you name it and those kids will be crying for their cheerios.  They definitely did NOT get this trait from their mother because I can't stand anything bland and cardboard box-ish.  Further complicating this situation were the facts that 1- my husband was leaving town the next morning and was going to be gone on business for a couple of days and 2 - I had a job interview in the morning before my husband left town.  These factors left me with two options.  I either had to run out to the store late last night and stock up, or I had to listen to the kids whine over their pancakes while I got ready for my interview and then drag them all out to the store with me later in the afternoon.  I am sure you can all see which one of those options was more appealing! So around nine o'clock last night, my husband still wasn't home from work.  This indicated to me that he was going to be quite late and I figured I had better send him a message asking him to come home before ten so I could make it to the store.  I sent a short, friendly message to his phone and then set about menu planning, writing up my shopping list and optimistically getting my shoes on.  Ten o'clock rolls around and there is still no word from my husband. Okay - he will walk in any minute....I'm sure of it. Ten fifteen, still nothing!  At that point I decided to message him again to find out how close he was to home.  Ten thirty he finally responded telling me he had just now checked his messages and was still at work.  *sigh*  So he rolled in at 11pm....the same time the grocery store closed for the night.

The result? This morning I woke up to my alarm a full two-hours earlier than I needed to start getting ready for my interview.  I threw on some clothes, brushed my teeth (your welcome) and combed out my bed-head on my way out the door.  I arrived at the grocery store in the early morning when all the aisles were still cluttered with boxes as merchandisers stocked the shelves. This proved to be quite the navigational challenge. By the time I checked the last item off of my list, I had an overflowing cart and 90 minutes before I need to be leaving my house, dressed for my interview.  Naturally I ended up in line behind someone who had apparently never been through a check-out line in their life.  They fumbled through every step of the process and I stood patiently behind them with my "friendly" smile glued to my face in desperate self-preservation. When I finally made my way out of the store I decided I had earned a cappuccino for my troubles.  As I drove home sipping my coffee I imagined myself taking a quick shower, getting dressed and heading out early - coffee in hand - to find my zen place and center my focus in peaceful solitude before my interview began.  This picture depended entirely on my husband's willingness to unload the groceries from the car while I showered of course, and that was a bit of a problem.  When I opened the door to the house I found everyone (including my husband) still asleep in their beds!  Well - actually the kids were all awake in their husband was the only one sleeping.  When the boys heard me come in they immediately jumped up and hit the ground talking, there was an instant spike in the noise level in our house and hubby must have noticed because he came out of the bedroom pretty darn fast! He instantly started changing the baby - then setting out breakfast and before I knew it, I had unloaded all the groceries while I waited for him to finish up with the kids.  I checked the time and now had only 30 minutes before I need to be leaving for my interview.  I got myself ready as quickly as humanly possible and raced out the door (with my coffee!) hoping I wasn't going to fall off my shoes and make a fool of myself.  I arrived at the parking garage a few minutes ahead of schedule, fed the meter and then sat down in the car to finish my coffee and find my center....yeah...right!  It took all the time I had to just calm down from the frantic pace of the morning, leaving no time to run over potential interview questions and responses in my head.  Before I knew it I was standing in the administrative offices, shaking hands wondering "How did I get here?!"

Luckily, the interview seemed to go well and I am confident that I made a memorable impression (in a good way, I promise!) since the woman conducting the interview and I shared a common interest that we chatted about afterward.  I am really hopeful that this will turn into a job offer for me. The position would be part time, on-call scheduling, but it has the potential to turn into a permanent part-time career position.  And that would be fantastic!

So now I am just going to relax after an exhausting day and a trying dinner experience with a certain kiddo and....wait....what's that? I have to do it all over again tomorrow at another interview...with an out-of-town husband and a (generous and awesome) babysitter?!  *double sigh* I guess it will be a long night of cleaning and planning instead. (Did I mention Big-Bug also has his kindergarten orientation tomorrow afternoon? Yeah, it's one of those weeks!)