Kindness Is Sewn Into Them

, , , , , | Hopeless | May 15, 2018

When my daughter was seven weeks old, she was diagnosed with a medical condition that required wearing an ugly harness under her clothes to fix her dislocated hip. This meant that she had to get a load of specialised clothing to fit over the top, and a lot of the lovely things we’d been given as gifts when she was born were no longer useful.

I’m quite handy, so I managed to make a lot of clothes for her, but I was still disappointed by the loss of some lovely clothes, in particular one trousers-and-top outfit with little ducks on it. I wondered if I could modify the little trousers, and my mum suggested writing to the company, a small independent one, to see if they could send me some scraps of fabric to fill in the gaps. I sent them an email, explaining the situation, and they got back to me right away asking how much I needed.

Thinking I was likely to only get tiny offcuts, I asked for just a foot square. I offered money, but they refused to take any. A few days later, I got a full metre square in the post — enough to make a whole new pair of modified trousers — and some little t-shirts, too. I also didn’t have to take apart the existing trousers, so when she came out of the harness a few weeks later, she could go back to wearing them. That company is now one of my favourite places to buy baby clothes.

Finding out that your tiny baby is unwell is such a frightening experience, but it’s amazing how willing people are to help you out.

It’s Wingardium Levio-saah!

, , , , , , | Hopeless | May 14, 2018

(I’m 31, going to the Harry Potter amusement park in Florida. My brother and I buy the special wands where you can do “magic” in certain parts of the park. We notice in the newer Diagon Alley you can do it pretty easily, but in the older Hogsmeade, it’s a lot harder, maybe because of dirty windows or bad placement of the sensors. I stumble on a girl who is maybe ten, and her dad. The girl is almost in tears because she can’t get the special wand she got to work.)

Me: *running up to the girl* “If it’s okay with you and your daddy, can I teach you some things I learned? I know it’s hard. I’ve been here all day, but I’ve learned a few tricks.”

Girl’s Dad: “It’s okay.”

Girl: “Okay.”

Me: “Okay. Stand right here. See what it’s telling you on that little medallion? Copy the motions.”

(She tries a couple times and it’s still not working; she’s getting frustrated.)

Me: “No, no, it’s okay. You just need to think really hard, and it’s all in the wrists!”

(I say this really loud and start looking around at other people who may have wands.)

Me: “Keep at it! Focus!”

(At this point, an army of wand-wielding people has gathered right behind us, out of her line of vision, trying to get the sensor to work. It finally works. I give them the thumbs up, then give them a signal to disperse so the girl won’t realize it might not have been her. They all walk away, practically doing casual, “Oh, look at that detail in the village,” looks. The girl runs up to her dad.)

Girl: “I did it! I did it! Did you see it?!”

Me: “See? You are a witch! I knew it! Great job!”

Dad: *to me* “You are awesome!”

Me: “Oh, I didn’t do anything. She did! By the way? What house?”

Girl: “Gryffindor!”

Me: “Slytherin. Guess we aren’t all bad, huh? See you, sweetie!”

(I will never let a kid lose their imagination, even if I have to build an army on the quick to keep it running.)

It’s Good On Paper

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | May 13, 2018

My brother had just finished soccer practice in his senior year and decided to drive his friend home. On the way to her house, a distracted driver ended up rear-ending the two of them into an intersection, where the passenger side was hit by a van going 50 miles per hour. My brother broke four ribs in the crash and managed to roll out of the car. He stood up and tried to make his way back to help his friend, puncturing a lung in the process. Eventually, a bystander managed to restrain my brother so he wouldn’t be injured further. The girl was taken into intensive care, and we didn’t know what was happening with her for a long time.

I was in the same high school as my brother, and I was allowed to take a week off to stay with him in recovery. He was incredibly worried about his friend, and he was starting to get depressed. That’s around the time people started coming to see him. Throughout his stay he had nearly the entire school visit him, both students and staff. The nurses actually had to start getting involved to make sure not too many people were in the waiting room at a time. Each and every person brought him an origami swan.

We learned that the day after the accident the entire school shut down all its activities. Instead, everyone was taught how to make origami swans, which signify health and quick healing. Everyone spent the entire day folding them for my brother and his friend. My brother received over 3,000 swans. When he was finally released and he went back to school for the first time, we found the entire school covered in swans. They were hanging from the ceiling in nearly every room. One of his friends even managed to make a seven-foot tall swan that the school kept in the cafeteria.

My brother and his friend miraculously recovered. Even the doctors were baffled that there was no permanent damage to either of them. My school had those swans hanging in the hallways until the day it shut down. It might be silly to think little pieces of paper could make a difference in a life-or-death situation, but I can’t help but be thankful for each and every one of them.

Today Everyone Is A Top Dog

, , , , | Hopeless | May 12, 2018

I’m driving to work tonight on a major road with two lanes of traffic in either direction. I pass through a rather large intersection when I notice two things: there is a woman struggling to run through the high grass at the side of the road, and the cars in the right lane have all slowed down. I don’t think there’s a connection right away as I continue driving in the left lane, but then I see it: a tiny dog, maybe a Frenchie or something similar, running full speed on the right shoulder of the road. I’m worried for it, but there’s nothing I can do moving at the speed I’m going, and I’ve already passed it.

That’s when I notice people in the right lane beginning to pull over. At first I see just one or two, but then I look in the rearview mirror and see that every single car has pulled onto the shoulder to avoid hitting the poor dog and presumably to help catch it. I obviously wasn’t around to see if it worked, but so many people were putting the effort in I can’t imagine it didn’t. Seeing that line of cars whose drivers all just decided to work together warmed my heart.

Unconventional At A Convention

, , , , , , | Hopeless | May 11, 2018

My friends and I are walking through the dealer’s room at a convention when one friend spies a booth selling blind boxes of character figures from his favorite video game. Blind boxes have a set of figures they could contain, but the buyer doesn’t know exactly which one they get when they purchase it. My friend is super excited, since the game is somewhat older and the blind box figures are no longer being made, making them semi-rare. He only has enough money to buy two boxes, and he opens them as soon as he gets them. By chance, both blind boxes contain the same character figurine.

Before we can walk away, the owner of the booth stops us. He holds out an unopened blind box and offers to exchange one of my friend’s figures for it, giving him the chance to get something different. My friend takes him up on the offer, and the rest of us are so impressed by the owner’s actions that each of us finds something to buy from his booth.  

It’s a convention tradition now to seek out that booth and buy something from it. Everybody won that day: my friend got a figurines of his two favorite characters, we found a great place to get our convention snacks, and the family that owns the booth gained a group of loyal customers!

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