December 19, 2012

goodwill toward men

Today, I went shopping with my children - all four of them, even two- and a half-year-old Lil' Snip, whose strong opinions are not always welcome on outings.

We went to the discount grocery store, and the health food store, and the post office, and the little country store (for specialty cocoa, therefore "the cocoa store" according to the aforementioned toddler), and the library (& its used bookstore), and the big grocery store, and the burger joint.

[I do not, for obvious reasons, attempt this kind of excursion with any regularity!!]

And you know what I discovered, shepherding all four children through seven destinations in the thick of the holiday season?

I live in a friendly town.

People smiled at us.  Held the door.  Wished us a Merry Christmas.  Laughed across the checkout lines.  Offered my children lollipops.  Complimented my handmade scarf.  Let us go first at intersections.  Made jokes with my children.  Struck up conversations about whatever was right in front of us, just out of sheer goodwill.

We were not perfectly behaved.  Spice and Nice were a bit spicy (& not-nicey) at times.  Lil' Snip was singing that famous toddler song that sounds suspiciously like whining, a few times when lunchtime loomed a little too near.

Why was an outing that could have been a challenge, a blessing instead?

Maybe it was Christmas cheer.  

Maybe it was happenstance.  

Maybe it was purely a gift from God.  

I'm tempted to think that it was because I was in a good mood, and did a better job than usual at using my pleasant voice, no matter what.  But I think I'll let the analysis go, for once, and just accept the gift.

I live in a friendly town, where folks, given half a chance, are chatty and helpful - and so, I'll bet, do you.

: : :

Merry Christmas!





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