Today we were shopping. I had to buy a birthday card for my sister whose birthday is coming up later this week.
I have a thing with cards. I don’t do ‘cheapies.’ I have to feel what the card says. I have to get emotional over it. Even sometimes, I actually have tears after perusing through them in store and need to swallow hard to keep myself from blubbering like a baby.
That’s when I know I’ve found the right card. It’s the one that reduces me to a mess.
I had three cards in the running, all poignant for different reasons. I handed them to Hubbie, who had been following baby girl around the card shop making sure she didn’t break or knock over any of the delicate gift items abounding the place, and said to him “here, tell me which one you think is best.” They were all pretty fantastic, as my sister also is, but I wanted another knowing person to tell me their thoughts on the best card for my sister. I care, about cards. Especially giving the right one.
As we swapped roles and I started keeping baby girl amused and watching her hands move around the place, we came across a little ceramic long and narrow-like bowl, with Mickey Mouse on top. I said “look, Mickey!” and baby girl and I looked at the little figurine, my eyes resting on the ‘sale’ price. $60 slashed to $30.
She’s a bit of a Minnie Mouse fan at the moment. And anything connected to Minnie, she’s well aware of, such as the main, original mouse. I was tempted. But it was delicate, made of ceramic (translating to easily breakable), and also, what would a child under the age of 3 do with such a thing? It was a cute keepsake, a lovely figurine, but she would want to walk it down the stairs, letting it fall to the bottom, throw it up in the air, chew on it, and do all kinds of things BUT leave it alone to just sit in her room.
So I said the thing I always say to her. Which I totally mean by the way. I said:
“Baby girl, Mummy will buy you this, but when you’re older, so that you can respect it.”
And from behind me, I heard “you’re a great Mum!”
I turned to see a woman in her late forties, smiling at me. Surprised, I smiled and said thanks, before adding “that’s very sweet!”
She kept walking around the corner, while I busied myself with baby girl, feeling a bit embarrassed, but totally chuffed.
I thought later that I should have asked why she thought so? But then I said to myself No! Don’t question it! If she thinks you’re a good Mum, you’re a good Mum. No justification required. Just let it be.
I was happy to accept the compliment, and touched that a random lady that I had never met before had felt compelled to tell me what she thought. And what a beautiful thought it was.
It only confirmed to me again, something that I’ve often said is so important: giving people kind words. It could be your parent, a friend, someone you haven’t seen in a while, or in this case, a total stranger. I used to do it a bit more before, and then I stopped, feeling like maybe I was exposing myself, and my thoughts too much. Giving a compliment was like giving a part of myself, and I became vulnerable to that person as I told them what I felt.
Shit, I know. Completely untrue. When you tell someone that they look nice, or they did a good deed, or you like their hair, or how great a friend they are, or how they saved your arse just then because they stopped you from crossing the road and getting hit by a tram… people appreciate that.
They are grateful for it.
There is too much negativity in the world. Paying someone a compliment, instead of keeping your lovely thoughts to yourself, not only does good for them, but it does good for you. You feel better. knowing and seeing and hearing, that the person is smiling, because of something you just said.
I am really grateful for the kind words I received today. I know this lady doesn’t know me, but the fact that she said such a beautiful sentiment, something every Mother in the world wants to hear… it was sweet.
She made my day. And I don’t even know her name.