Unsolicited advice, usually offered at The.Worst.Time.Possible, seems to be a fact of life when you have a child but so too, I’ve found anyway, is something else that we perhaps take less notice of… kindness.
I see it in the little things; the way that random people return Freya’s smile or respond to her wave (she thinks she is The Queen) as we are walking along.
And in the bigger little things that take more effort. Yesterday, for example, while we were at the train station waiting for my mum and dad to arrive, an employee noticed Freya and gave her a smile and a wave.
She loves any attention and gave him her best smile in return and I heard him say to his colleague: “I’m going to get her a sticker.” Even though I think they might have being going off on their break.
And he did.
He came back a few minutes later and presented her with a sticker, which made her giggle and smile. She then high fived him, which seemed to make his day.
“They grow up so quickly,” he said, as if perhaps remembering when his own children were little.
It was the first thing she showed to my mum and dad when they arrived and she kept hold of it (but didn’t eat it, which has happened in the past) all day.
Maybe to him it was nothing really, a couple of minutes to make a little girl happy but it made Freya’s day (and mine too, truth be told).
One of my 39 things to do before I’m 40 is to try and comment on every act of kindness. Sometimes it’s just a simple thank you and letting people know whatever they did was appreciated but I also send emails where possible, like yesterday (I also tweeted it).
Often it seems like we live in a pretty grotty world but taking more notice of the little things makes me realise that there are also a lot of good people out there – I just need to pay attention.