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"Leave it to a toddler to humble you and put life into perspective. This morning
"Leave it to a toddler to humble you and put life into perspective. This morning I was annoyed with life. Annoyed that this winter is too cold for our poorly insulated house and that the below zero temps are freezing the pipes, causing a slew of problems. Financially annoyed that we had to take money out of our emergency savings for groceries this week, let alone for a plumber. Annoyed at the long wait to see the girls’ pediatrician this morning. Annoyed that I forgot to bring my gloves with me. Just average middle class, 21st century America problems. On our drive home there was a man standing on the side of the road, in this snowy freezing weather, with a sign asking for money. There were a few dollars in my console staring at me so I held them out of my window for him. The entire time thinking that he’ll probably use the money for unhealthy bad habits, that I didn’t have enough money for myself this week, let alone extra to give away, and that my husband would probably scold me for rolling my window down for a man that could potentially be dangerous.

AND THEN from the backseat my 2.5 year old asked me what his name was... and I felt like such an ass. I was so focused on rolling my window up and down quickly, and driving away, lost in my own selfish thoughts that I didn’t even say 'you’re welcome,' or look him in the eyes, let alone consider the fact that he had a name. I made the thought process and giving to be about myself, not the fact that this was a man, a person, standing outside begging, regardless of the reason, in weather colder than I would leave my dog outside in. And there I was in my car, with my heated seats, pissy about forgetting my gloves. Of course toddlers can’t just ask 1 question, they ask about 50. Her next question was what I gave him, and I told her money because he didn’t have any. I got a 'why?' And I told her so he can buy dinner with it. And then her sweet little soul says, 'I have food at my house. He can come eat some dinner at my home.' My toddler humanized this man and this situation in a way that I didn’t.

The same little girl that cries if you cut her toast wrong, innocently put me in my place and reminded me to be giving and kind and to be grateful for what we have. And then we came home to our drafty house and made lunch and cuddled in my warm bed to take a nap. I came home this afternoon more mindful and definitely more thankful than when I left this morning. Next time I will remember to get a name."

Submitted by M. Lunt

579 views Jan 11
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