after the ditch incident later that evening, Christmas Day ended up kind of being a blur. we made it out to Papa Loco's house. and did the fat red man there. normally we would spend Christmas evening for dinner with the BFF, but she was out of town. out of state actually. which made the holidays even weirder. the first time in almost a decade that Christmas wasn't spent with my family. i actually got to visit with my aunt that i rarely see which was wonderful. it just seemed that the whole week flew by. this past week was even dumber. off on monday, work on tuesday, work on wednesday and thursday. off on friday. work on saturday. off on sunday (today) and back to work tomorrow. i guess that is what i get for taking a week off.
through all of it though my kids were like champs. they did not complain, at least not more than normal kids do. and it made me proud. they did not complain about the lack of gifts. the appreciated the fact that all of our utilities still worked. they appreciated the visit with all of the family. i am amazed by my children every day. even the bad days. i am still proud of them. and amazed that someone so loco is who made them. who has raised them. it is just amazing.
tonight Big'K said something that made me so proud. we went for burgers. it was late and i did not feel like cooking. while at the burger place i noticed a strange guy. you know the one. speaking too loudly. dressed in too many layers. dirty beard and hair. very disheveled. pacing. around the inside and then outside and back in. you could tell he was hungry. but obviously had no money. and he was crazy. not in a good way. in a schizo or bipolar way. and he was apparently not medicated. normally where we live it is pretty warm. but right now we are in the middle of our 'winter' which means it can get nippy. i was very cautious of him. as both of my children are 'special' and tend to attract the weird ones. when we were finished eating, i sent the girls with my car keys to go get in the car. and i walked up to the counter. i asked the girl if she knew if he was just drunk or was he mental. already knowing the answer. there was a good possibility he may have been drunk. but he was without a doubt mental. all i could see in my minds eye was Lil'K, my brother, or many of the countless others that i know that suffer from mental illness in that same predicament. she said she did not know. but he had been there for well over an hour. in my time there he had gone up and gotten a coffee cup. i asked her did he pay for his drink and she said no. "i think he has something wrong with him. he babbles off and on. about nothing or everything. he is obviously hungry. but i think he is homeless" she said back. in an almost whisper as to not draw his attention. i then told her the following: "in this bag are two of our three orders of fries. we did not need them. i want you to order four chicken strips. if not eaten they are easy to carry and will keep for a while. also order a small drink. when they are ready, please give the bag of fries and the chicken and drink to that man. he obviously needs it." she looked at me with eyes full of question. "my youngest daughter is mentally ill. i have many friends that suffer from mental illness as well. they could just as easily be in his predicament. and i would like to think that there are still good people in the world that would look at them and know that it is ok to be afraid, but not ok to shun or ignore them. that even just a meal could make a difference in their life." she told me thank you and that she would do it. "no need for thanks, you just find a need and pass it on." those were the words i left her with. when i got to the car Big'K was crying. not sobbing. just single tears. i had told the girls what i was going to do and that i wanted them to go to the car. because it was ok to be a little afraid. and just in case i wanted them to be safe. i backed my car up far enough that i could see the guy, i was afraid he would leave before his food was ready. he was not sitting where he had been and i was worried. then Lil'K said look mom he has the food! and there he was walking back from the drink counter with our bag of fries, a box of chicken and a HUGE smile on his face. as i drove away Big'K simply said...
"well now i know where i get that feeling inside that i want to always do for people. and pay it forward all the time. to reach out to those that are different. to be afraid but still help. i get it from you. and that makes me proud mom. it makes me proud of you and proud of me and sister that we have such a good example."
just when you think you suck at parenting a little gem like that pops out of your child's mouth. and you are instantly proud. and know you are doing something right.
2013 - the year of the pay it forward in this house has officially begun.