While Hurricane Joaquin's arrival in DC last week proved more bark than bite, the storm did deliver a series of wet, grey days to our nation's capital. I have never been a fan of rain, and now that I count hours at the park a staple in my "wear the babe out" toolbox, it generates even greater distress.
So when we awoke to yet another dismal day on Saturday, I was eager to find a dry place to play. We made last minute plans to join friends at the National Building Museum, with visions of running around the atrium and playing in the kiddos area. However, when we arrived - wilted and soggy - we were disappointed to see the entire center area closed for a special event. And because every other parent in DC is apparently privy to our "secret" rainy day staple - and arrived much earlier - the play area was sold out for the next several hours.
With a dejected sigh, I popped into the coffee shop to buy some tea for me and a steamer for the babe and contemplate plan B. As soon as we stepped back into the hallway, she tripped, falling hard and dropping the cup, which sent milk spraying all over her, the floor, and everyone standing within a five foot radius. I immediately scooped up the startled babe (for the first time truly appreciating the age old admonition not to cry over spilled milk...), inwardly bemoaning what a poor decision this turned out to be. But as I wiped her tears and turned to survey the damage, I saw not only our friends, but also complete strangers on their hands and knees mopping up the milky pool.
I was thankful for - and heartened by - the spontaneous display of kindness. Immediately my attitude shifted from disgruntled to grateful, and we salvaged the dreary morning. The kiddos climbed stairs and played with new friends - completely unaware that what unfolded was anything less than perfect.
Small gestures have great power to improve our attitudes and our experience. What little spark of kindness can you contribute to someone's day today?