Monday, April 11, 2011

Multitude Monday XVIII: Jellybeans

On a jaunt to the neighborhood grocery this morning, we decided to get our craft on and make a salt dough map of Russia. Let's call it our enriched geography curriculum. The kids were quite sure that we needed some colorful candies from the bulk bins to mark important Russian landmarks.

As is often the case, I could feel my crafty vision crumble around its edges, yielding reluctantly to the greater good of a child's enthusiasm for a project.

A store employee slithered up behind me. "What nice manners!" she cooed, beaming at my children. (Yes, I checked. There were no other children present in the entire store, so she had to be referring to mine.)

"Oh, th-thank you," I stammered, wondering whether she'd missed one of them squealing to the other just minutes before, "Let's go look for SAMPLES!"

 She grabbed a scoop, plunged it into the jellybean bin, and proceeded to dump three cupfuls into my hand and waltz off with a grin, leaving me to deal with three sets of grasping paws and jellybeans dripping onto the floor.

I was annoyed. Why do adults insist on giving my kids candy without asking me first? I'm talking strangers here. Even if she HAD asked, right out loud in front of the kids, she'd be setting me up to look like the Grinch, like Willy Wonka's dad in that goshawful Johnny Depp version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, if I said, "No, thank you. My kids do not need more candy and food dyes at this particular point in their existence."

But as we left the store, Caroline said gleefully, "Mom, that lady is the kindest store-person I have ever met. Isn't she just so kind?"

Okay, big picture, here. While my teeth are on edge about the presumption of a well-intentioned stranger, my daughter has learned that all it takes, sometimes, is a simple gesture to fill someone's cup brimful with joy.

Thanking Him for more simple things (more jellybeans, perhaps?) today ...

181. The way my youngest's cheeks smell vaguely of peaches when I kiss her first thing in the morning.

182. A friendly librarian who says, "Aw, happens to the best of us," while I glumly write out my fines check.

183. Roses in our yard with a whiff of fresh raspberries.

184. Green lights.

185. A real, live, actual JOB INTERVIEW scheduled for the Professor next week! After eighteen months of knocking on doors, a knob finally seems to be turning. And it's here in Austin. Prayers please?

186. A certain old, dear friend whom I see far too little these days, but to whom I can text the following: [Avert your eyes, male readers]
                          "Just attempted to go bra shopping. SO DEPRESSING. Nothing makes me want to go home and polish off an entire cheesecake like a futile trip through Victoria's Secret"
                    ... and immediately receive a totally empathetic response.  Team AA, we stick together.

187. Yard sale prep putting our clutter on a crash diet.

188. Cool mornings with the symphony of mourning doves.

189. All the awesome experiences our fellow worshippers share with us on Sunday mornings.

190. A boy begging for his sister to bunk with him. A sister cheerfully claiming the top bunk.

191. Listening to my kids describe their dream houses to each other.

192. Teenagers who inspire by coaching younger kids through the guts and glory of the AWANA Games.

193. The times when the dishes do get clean in the dishwasher.

194. Delicious dinner (recipe here) and pavlova for dessert with friends around our table.

195. Unexpected finds, so humble in the dustworn path.


Danica Newton said...

I love this! I also feel that way about adults offering candy to my kids - good for you for seeing the bigger picture!

thejoyproject40 said...

your list made me laugh out loud this am. for the times when the dishes actually do get clean in the dishwasher, jellybean kindness and Team Double A! thanks for sharing

KTG said...

That's a beautiful rose in your garden and bonus it smells like rasberries yum!

Raji P. said...

Praying for the Professor to get that job in Austin! How can we go on not-meeting like this if you are not even in Austin??

Bethy Lynne said...

Love your heartfelt list of the jellybeans that make your cup run over. Thanks for sharing! :)

Vanessa said...

So nice to read this post after a long and emotionally rough day. Thanks friend.