Kids Can Be Pretty Awesome

, , , , | Ottawa, ON Canada | Hopeless | May 7, 2016

(We’re nearing the end of final exam period at university and since I’m graduating the past few weeks have been excessively stressful. Between all night study sessions on and off, working off campus, and grad papers, I haven’t had much time to take care of my appearances and haven’t showered for a few days. Because of this, I’m really self-conscious about how I look, especially in crowded places like public transit. I’m heading to take my final exam waiting for the bus when I notice a little kid nearby with his mother who is staring at me. I assume it’s because I look like total crap, so I pull on my hood to hide, hoping the kid will look away. When he doesn’t, I turn to him and nervously try to play it off.)

Me: “Yeah, take a good look kid… This is what university does to you.”

Boy: *gets really happy* “You mean it makes people pretty?!”

(His delightful compliment was so genuine I almost started crying right there. That kid managed to make me smile and feel amazing for the first time in weeks. The feeling didn’t leave me even after I finished and passed my exam! Thanks, kid!)

Cranking Down Mr. Cranky

, , | NY, USA | Hopeless | May 5, 2016

(I am six years old, at the grocery store with my mom. We go to the register and end up behind a man who is berating the teenage cashier so viciously that she is openly crying. After a few minutes of listening to him, I pipe up:)

Man: *almost screaming at this point*

Me: “MISTER! You’re cranky! You need a nap!”

(The cashier’s jaw drops, the man turns toward me with an ugly look on his face, and Mom is praying that she won’t have to hit this man for turning on me. Suddenly he starts laughing.)

Man: “Young lady, I think you may be right!”

(He said he had been having an absolutely horrid day up to that point and apologized to the cashier for taking his frustrations out on her and to my mother for making us listen to his tirade.)

Enough To Bring A Teal To Your Eyes

, , | WI, USA | Hopeless | May 1, 2016

(I volunteer for our local museum during a popular traveling Sherlock Holmes exhibit. When it is slow, I will walk along with visitors and chat. I am walking with a young mom and her four-year-old daughter. They love the exhibit, and go to the gift shop. I am on a break and stop by the gift shop to say hi to the woman working the register.)

Little Girl: “Hey! You are the lady that helped us!”

Me: “Yes, I am. Did you find anything?”

(She shows me a handful of marbles, one in every color we offered.)

Little Girl: “What is your favorite color?”

Me: “I really like the teal ones.”

(She scampers away, and I don’t think much of it as I have these conversations with kids a lot. I am talking with the mom when her daughter comes back.)

Little Girl: “Here! This is for you!”

(She hands me a teal marble.)

Me: “it’s beautiful, thank you!”

Little Girl: “It’s a friendship marble. Now we’ll always be friends!”

Mom: “[Little Girl] and I are on our own. Her dad left us when she was born and I’ve been trying to make sure she has great values.”

Me: “You’ve done an amazing job! She is a real gem; I loved talking with you today!”

(I slip the cashier money to pay for the girl’s marbles, and when she is told her marbles are free, she tears up.)

Little Girl: “Mom and I don’t have a lot of money; we saved just to come here!”

Me: “Well, in that case…”

(I refunded their admission and paid for it myself. I made sure they got two free passes for the museum for their next visit, and they came and saw me for the next exhibit. The little girl was just as pleasant as she was the first time. And the teal marble? She had it in her pocket, and since I carry mine in my purse, I had mine that day as well.)

Coffee For The Monkeys

, , , , | Milwaukie, OR, USA | Hopeless | April 25, 2016

(My daughter has an unusual name, and even when we write the pronunciation beside the spelling on forms or other documents, people still always mispronounce it. She is eight years old. We are at a coffee shop and each person in our family is getting a drink.)

Husband: “Flat white.”

Barista: “Name?”

Husband: “[Husband].”

Me: “They would each like a caramel frappuccino with whipped cream.”

Barista: *to my older daughter* “Your name?”

Older Daughter: “[Older Daughter].”

Barista: *to my younger daughter* “Your name?”

(I can see my daughter hesitating to say her name because it is never a simple process, even if you say it, then spell it immediately, people always comment on it.)

Me: *to her* “You can give any name you want. It doesn’t have to be YOUR name.”

Younger Daughter: *to barista* “Monkey Face!”

Barista: *laughing* “Okay, Monkey Face!” *to the drink-maker* “Here is a cup for Monkey Face.” *they both laugh and my daughter is happy*

Me: “And I’d like [my order], please.”

Barista: “You must be Mom?”

Me: “Yes. You can just put ‘Mom’ on mine.”

(When we picked up our drinks, I saw she had actually written “SuperMom!” on my cup. I “awww”ed and thanked her. Very sweet.)

Little Girl, Big Gesture

, | Devon, England, UK | Hopeless | April 25, 2016

(I have badly dislocated my knee and am on crutches. I’m in a lot of pain and decided to treat myself to a cake and a coffee. When I finish and head toward the door I see a little girl quivering with excitement while sitting at a table by the door with her dad.)

Little Girl: *to her dad* “Can I?!”

Dad: “Go ahead.”

(The little girl races to the door to hold it open for me.)

Me: “Thank you so much!”

Little Girl: *beaming with pride* “You’re welcome! I hope your leg gets better soon!”

(It made my day seeing her so eager to help another person and it gives me hope for the future!)

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