These days, in the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to forget the days when common courtesy was, well, common. When pleases and thank-yous were the norm, and people held doors open for you. Head-in-the-sand as it may be, that’s one of the reasons why I loved shows like Little House on the Prairie and Happy Days growing up. Although they might not have been completely rooted in reality, they harken back to a period where we took time for others. Where manners and pleasantries were commonplace. These days, it seems nary a trip to the grocery store can be had without someone cutting you off while you’re driving. A call to a Customer Service rep makes you wonder why they’re called Customer Service reps. It’s enough to leave you cold. But then something happens, be it small or big, that restores your faith in people.
Two am Wednesday morning found Madeline and I in the ER, amidst a whirlwind of x-rays, breathing treatments, medicine and poking and prodding. It’s a darn good thing I remembered to bring a monkey with us as we headed out, because it made a scary experience slightly less so for her as he got his own x-ray, admittance bracelet and band-aid. Diagnosis three hours later? Pneumonia. Add to that an ear infection and molars that are fiercely growing in, the girl needs a break.
I think I counted seven people that helped us those wee hours of the morning and each one was better than the one before. Starting with our pediatrician, who I woke up at 1:30 in the morning – oh how I love her! Each person we encountered at the hospital all stopped to talk to Madeline’s monkey, or make it dance across the hospital bed. Half the time she was looking at them as if they’d lost their mind, but that monkey and their interactions with her made all the difference in the world. That poor monkey – he’s certainly been put through the ringer!
By the time we got home, we were both exhausted and just crashed. Hours later, people started to find out about Madeline and her pneumonia, and offers of help started to come in. Even a mom I barely know at Nick‘s school offered her help three different times, and I was completely touched. There’s that faith being restored again. Nick spent the latter part of the afternoon with my parents, as much as it pained him to be away from Madeline when she was so sick. He so wanted to be with his sister, and I explained that her germs are pretty powerful and I didn’t want to spend another night in the hospital, so we needed to keep them separate for just a bit. He managed to hold out for about 2 hours and then came home, asking if she was awake and if he could touch her.
A mylar balloon (one of her new words), monkey time, ice cold apple juice and jello are slowly helping, but until then, two simple requests… would it be to much to ask to hold off on molar activity that produces ear-splitting bloody murder screaming until the pneumonia is gone? It just doesn’t seem fair.
And just remember, those simple acts of kindness that can make an immeasurable difference in someone’s day. It takes so very little effort, and what it reaps for someone else is huge. Absolutely huge.