A Gift

Our tree, taken with my new lens. Totally not connected to anything written below. I just needed a picture =)

This afternoon I was touched by a thoughtful gift from a stranger.
Even though hours have passed I can still feel the hug we shared when I said thank you. And see the tears in her eyes as she hurriedly walked away from us. I would love to know her story. Why she blessed us like she did.

I had taken the boys to Walmart to pick up more clementines - Walmart has the best price on them and they taste amazing. I have spent $32 on clementines in the last few weeks. We all love them and it's one of those little special things I've decided I'll just attempt to keep on hand this season.

So anyway. Walmart. On our way to get clementines I took a detour to the Christmas aisles. We walked up and down the aisles simply looking. When we got to the singing/dancing stuffed animal section the boys asked me to play one for them. So I did. And then I played another. And another.
The singing/dancing animals are quite clever and the boys were thoroughly delighted. They were laughing, dancing and singing along with the songs and anyone who happened to walk down the aisle would stop and smile at them, laugh with them and a couple even twirled a little dance for the boys.

I enjoyed the moment, watching the boys so completely enamored with the singing and dancing and before I knew it thirty minutes had passed. A well dressed lady who had been at the far end of the aisle for quite a while came closer and started talking with the boys and myself about the stuffed animals. After standing with us for awhile she told me she wanted to buy them each their own stuffed toy - which two would the boys like the best?

I couldn't believe the kindness of a stranger, wanting to treat my children to something they were so obviously enjoying. It touched me deeply.

She didn't tell me much about herself, but as we were heading to the checkout together she told me she wanted to buy it for me as there weren't many people who would stand with their children and just enjoy the singing stuffed animals. And that she liked that.

And that was the true gift. Those words encouraged me. She was like a personal cheerleader, in the middle of Walmart, saying You Go Mom. Treasure Your Children. Enjoy Them. Enjoy What They Enjoy.

It was special.

And I love that every Christmas when we pull out our Jingle Bell singing, ear waging dog and Jingle Bell singing, fake snow whirling something-or-other I will always be reminded of the kindness of stranger and her gift of encouragement and the gentle reminder to just enjoy the children enjoying what they enjoy.

Oh, and sorry to anyone who might head to our Walmart to buy a dancing singing stuffed animal. We kindasortamaybe drained the batteries on a couple if them.

Sharing the story of the gift on Tuesdays Unwrapped.


Ryanne said...

That's awesome.

The door greeter at Walmart once really blessed me one day. A friend and I were waiting in a VERY long line with Gabby to make a return. I started talking to her after she mentioned how well behaved Gabby was, and I told her that I felt so blessed to have Gabby. She told me that Gabby was very blessed to have parents who obviously loved her :)

THinking back I'm pretty sure she assumed that my friend was also my "partner". Kinda funny in hindsight.

Jessica The Rock Chick said...

WOW! What a great story, Jessica! I know we never met, but your sense of "enjoy and be thankful for every minute" totally comes through in your words. I can only imagine how visible that sense you have is in person. I adore that in people and I'm glad to know others can see that, too. She gave the boys a nice gift, but she gave you something wonderful! Merry Christmas!

Jessica said...

What a beautiful blessing, and what a fantastic encouragement to you this - and every - Christmas! I'm so glad the Lord placed that woman in your path today....and that He placed you in hers. It is clear that you each received a blessing by His divine appointment.

Thank you for sharing that story.

Cher said...

Stopping by to say Hi and now following you from a fellow Mama Bzz'er!

TammyIsBlessed said...

What a beautiful story - thanks for sharing it!

eder4jesus said...

Wow! Gave me chills while reading this and I almost cried too. Sniff, sniff... Thanks for the encouragement!

Anonymous said...

People like that are awesome. I'm so glad you found a blessing at Walmart. :)

Graceful said...

This is a beautiful story. Isn't it amazing the places you find blessings? I find them most often in the grocery store, of all places. One time my toddler was having a meltdown and my infant was hungry and screaming, and a kindly woman (with much quieter children!) bagged all my groceries. Just like that. It was so sweet and I wept with gratitude. You just never know...

Bobbie said...

That is a blessing! At Walmart!

Dianne said...

That is a precious story, Jessica. Thank you so much for sharing it. My husband loves obnoxious, funny Christmas toys that dance and sing and drive people nuts. LOL

Yes, enjoy yours kiddos while they are that age. I wish I had slowed down a little more. Merry Christmas, Dianne

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