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When you are least expecting it

the crib sheet

When you are least expecting it

Elizabeth Nalle

Kindness surprises you.

This past Thursday I had a sit-com day. Let me explain/translate, a ‘sit-com’ day is when your day has so many comedic misfires that you just have to assume you are being filmed in front of a live audience with a laugh track filling the air. Like many of you, I function best when my day is ordered, organized, and written down from start to finish. I check off calls, meals cooked, emails returned, and clients contacted. I add all accomplishable tasks to my list, because I sure do love to cross things off my list.

It started off well. a puppy who did all of his business before he went into the crate, an ideally close parking space for two hours in front of a great coffee place on Columbus Ave, and my favorite Levain cookies in my bag for later. A l l G o o d.

I was feeling confident, a bit too good, heading downtown for my workshop, when the dreaded school nurse call came in. Yep. At my daughter’s school, it is still 1955, and when a child is sick, there is a foundational understanding that mom gets called and comes right away to retrieve said sick child. I was super nice on the phone, “Oh Shoot, a fever of 102? Ok, I am in the city, and i have a workshop so I can come at 3pm when my work is finished.” That wasn’t ok — or at least that was communicated to me through the slow disappointed silence that filled the car audio. “Have you called my husband, perhaps he can come?”

Long story short, husbands are rarely called or expected to come, and I was lucky enough to reach a friend, who could rescue my 4th grader, and bring her home. The bumps in the road continued from a spot hero that wouldn’t work, a misplaced water bottle, and spotty cell reception in the sub-basement of my workshop space.

I raced home, voice texting my husband (nope, can’t come home to take care of sick daughter), voice texted my friend to thank her again and again for rescuing my daughter and me, and calling the pediatrician to grab a sick appointment.

Hours later with a strep diagnosis, a long wait at Walgreens, and a desperate desire to get home and drink a glass of water, I noticed I had a voice mail that I hadn’t heard.

I wasn’t sure if I had the mental bandwidth to take on a voicemail or extra work at the end of the day, but then I decided to press play, and I am so glad I did.

A former client called and left me an audio testimonial of sorts. She said she had been meaning to write an email, but it was just easier to talk … and so she did. She shared how I had helped her and more, and her gratitude and kindness knocked me off my feet and more importantly knocked the stress right out of me. My daughter clutching her antibiotics and well deserved lollipop listened too. We both took a deep breath, returned home, and let one moment of kindness get us back on track.

I am going to try — really try — to surprise someone with kindness. I will let you know how it goes!