Acts of Kindness
They’re all around us, really, but how often do we gloss over the good and pounce on the bits of not so good? More often than I care to admit truly, though these days I am cognizant of clinging to the good, actively thinking and grasping the minutiae of kindness that drift by and often land in my lap. Perhaps having a special needs child has been tougher than even I like to admit. Perhaps the sometimes tough is felt too much for a tender hearted mama. If I have learned one thing, it is that kindness overshadows the instances of tears. This morning, on a sick visit to our pediatrician, I was reminded once again.
After a night of coughing and signs of croup, we set off to our pediatrician’s office. Rather than waiting until 8:30 to speak to the friendly voice at Vidant Pediatrics, I put Amos in the car and hoped they would see us, a history of kindness noted in times of worry. We walked in and the receptionist placed us on the schedule with not even a hint of annoyance and so, we went to wait. Amos played and I sat, canceling appointments and meetings for the next two days. Within five minutes, we were ushered back and greeted warmly by the nursing staff.
Our nurse asked if he had slept last night and how best to weigh him and get his oxygen level. Not an ounce of judgement or pity or exasperation from my nurse and yet, I had never noticed this gentleness before Amos. I think I had been skating through a fairly typical life and then a little boy came along and taught me that not everyone can skate. Though it may be hard to live in a world where it seems everyone can and you are part of the can not, the small matters mightily.
We made our way to the room and our much loved pediatrician came in, engaged with us both, warmed his stethoscope and gently went about checking my son. Amos, quite suspicious, protested and as many mothers can attest, he seemed to grow extra hands and feet as I struggled to keep him subdued. Our pediatrician pulled out his phone and told Amos he would find the ducks. Yes, ducks. Two videos sent by his daughter of some ducklings in her own bathtub and strolling in the yard. Amos was enraptured with the waddling, quacking and swimming and the exam was completed.
Yes, croup. Would we like a shot or oral medicine the next few days? I chose the shot, feeling like a masochist, but he acknowledged it was a wise choice given Amos’ aversion to medicine. I mentioned needing a medical letter for our IEP meeting tomorrow and as I gathered up our stuff, he called me from his office and said he had printed it and it would be up front. Though I had needed to cancel much of what I was to accomplish the next couple days, this was one thing I could check off my list. I didn’t have to sign anything or go to medical records. No, just a kind pediatrician handing me what I had really just said aloud, more to myself than anyone.
Acts of kindness. Many of them, all running together, made this mama’s morning smooth and bright. Taking the time to count the friendly gestures and smiles does a person good too. The hour was the beginning of a long day with a fussy almost three year old and yet, those tangible bits of kindness stayed with me and I like to think, Amos noticed too.