thank you, kind stranger in the parking lot

random acts of kindness

The boys and I set off this morning to visit a friend who just had her third child.  Given that I have been swamped with work and homeschool and life, I didn’t have a gift. We quickly stopped at Marshall’s to pick up a few outfits and board books.  A few years ago, when autism was at its height, such an errand would have left me in a cold sweat.  Now, I have no fear.  I take the two of them in tow everywhere alone: crazy sounds, tantrums, and all.

Moose has had an increase in rigidity lately.  If life doesn’t go as planned, even with verbal reminders, QARs, and visual schedules, all hell can break loose in any given moment.  And it did.  He wanted to go to the grocery store next to Marshalls, and the flailing and tantrums began.

Luckily, little brother Monkey knows the drill when Moose has a moment: stay calm and do everything I say.  He received an academy award for best supporting sibling in the dramatic films starring Moose.

Within a few minutes, we made it into Marshalls.  I made a beeline for the books.  Moose squawked happily and spun and did his new exploratory behavior-touching everything.  I no longer apologize for his behavior.  I no longer feel the stares and the glares of patrons expecting their piped pop music and random cell phone chatter.

While looking at the board books, Monkey fell in love with-a-book-I-must-have-oh-please-oh-please-oh-please.  It was called Little Blue Truck.  I told him no, we are here for the baby and the baby only, it was just your birthday, and we have therapy and medical bills up the wazoo and no, you have literally 5,000 books at home.

I set the book on a ledge near the check-out, and Moose began tantruming again.  We paid, and went on our merry way.

We made it to the van without more drama, and I took a few deep breaths after the boys were buckled and ready to roll.  I began peeling the labels from the books, and stuffing it into a gift bag I saved from when the world showered me with random gifts when my sons were babies.

Suddenly, a knock at the window.  It was a man, heavy-set, with a crestfallen look on his face.

He had the Little Blue Truck book in his hands.  At first, I was confused.  Did he think I paid for the book and left it?

I rolled down the window.

“I want your son to have this.”

Wow.  He handed the book to me.

“You are doing one hell of a job.  I have a little boy with autism too.”

He smiled.  My eyes filled with tears.

He turned to walk away.

“Thank you, sir,”  I called out.  “You really made my day.”

random acts of kindness


Some days, you don’t know the angels behind you in the check-out.  The people watching the scenes unfold may have the same hardships at home.  Sometimes, mere acts of kindness, speak volumes of the beauty in this world.


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    1. I’m so honored you are still reading my blog, Keri, considering I fell off the face of the earth. 🙂 Miss you and the creative blogging world. Considering dipping my toe back in. It’s a different world than when we all started back in the early days, eh?


  1. oh dear lord Nic! that is so touching and so a real part of my life. many ways different but many ways the same. I loved the part about a sibling academy award…..I get that dynamic and that man……I hate to admit you have me in tears yet again.

    love your writing and your family!

    1. Right back at you, Mary…you are one of the moms who I will always treasure. You get my life more than anyone I know. I’m glad my writing is able to touch you…see you soon.


  2. When I saw this post in my email I couldn’t wait to read it because they always hold such meaning a depth. As I read it, I couldn’t help but to feel how much I wish I could take away the challenging demands and obstacles you are facing. But, the knock on the window sent chills through my body and my heart smiled because there are good people in this world. I believe in angels, I believe in paying it forward, I believe that man was there for a reason. Bless his heart…
    Love you Nic…xoxo

  3. What a sweet story to end my day! I’m so happy someone made you smile and recognized the love and patience you showyour boys.

  4. Put tears in my eyes `You are such A great writer Nicolette!!! xoxox Auntie Pinkie As I Read this I could actually Visualize it happening That’s how good you are . Waiting on your best seller!!!!!!

  5. Just wow. This gave me gooodebumps!!
    It’s funny. Today we were at Walmart and a young urban-looking fellow overheard the boys and I trying to decide which bike helmets to purchase. I was ready to walk out of the aisle with our choices when this nice fellow stopped me and said “you know…for helmets….the should be 2 fingers-width from the bottom rim of the helmet to their eyebrows. Because if they fall, God-forbid, this ensures everything fits right….” He demonstrated by showing me. I was so clueless. I thanked him for being so helpful. He was a young early twenty-something that you never would have thought cared less. So
    Warming. Set the tone for the rest of our day!! There is hope for humanity!!!
    Love you!! Xo

  6. Wow. There are angels among us. I love this story – what a kind man – and I can only imagine how nice it is to have someone whole-heartedly understand your day-to-day. My 3 year old son absolutely LOVES that book. We have borrowed it from the library – but it is on my list to purchase. I hope your son enjoys it, too.

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