Monday, June 7, 2010

A LITTLE bit of kindness goes a LONG way

After going somewhere as a family we returned to an unfamiliar car in our driveway. We tried to guess whose car it was as we finished pulling up to our house. When I got out I realized it was our neighbors (seem weird I wouldn't know their car).

Here's some background on my neighbors they moved in next door about fifteen years ago (remember I grew up in this house) the first thing they did was put a nine, yes I said NINE foot cinder block wall all the way around their house. If that wasn't enough they fenced in their front yard completely with double chain link fencing . And still if that wasn't enough they put up an iron fence at the bottom of their porch so you could not get to their door if you tried. As you are probably thinking all of this screams friendly... right??? As a child they complained to the police many times about our cat walking on their lawn or our toys and balls being thrown accidentally into their yard. I began to loathe them and avoided them as a child. As a teenager we would jump on our trampoline and have contests to see who could jump the highest and see over the wall into their yard. When we moved back this last time and took over the house from my parents I asked if they had been any trouble recently, the answer was "no we never see or hear them". This answer was much to my relief and I just hoped it would stay that way.

Now back to the other night. I see this neighbor standing on my doorstep with her husband in the car and I was sure they were coming to complain about the party we were hosting (it was a surprise party for Ben and he hadn't seen it yet so I was sure they were going to ruin it by complaining). Much to my surprise she (and her husband) had come over to asked if she could give my children candy and then this dialogue followed;

"I know we never talk or interact with you but your son is always so nice to us and we really appreciate it. He always runs out to greet us when we are coming or going and if we are already in the car he ALWAYS waves. It has meant so much to us and we had to tell him that his greetings and friendly waves mattered to us, they touched us. We didn't know when you were moving and wanted to come and tell him thank you before it was too late. So if it is OK with you we have bought each one of your kids a little treat and would like to give it to them".

She then threw her arms around me and told me how sad she was that we were moving. I was SHOCKED and didn't have words to respond I was so surprised that all I could get out was Thank You!! That night in bed I couldn't stop thinking about them and just how much Joshua's friendliness had meant to them. We are told all the time that the little things sometimes matter more than the big but how often do we really believe that?? I feel so blessed to have Joshua (and the rest of my kids) and are so grateful for their examples... tonight I have truly learned from a child!!!