Yesterday I went shopping with my sister and the girls to a department store. We were looking around at things, she was looking for a belt. Little E was sitting in the single umbrella stroller while Big Ive was roaming free. She was wandering about and I was trying to keep up with her to prevent any displays from toppling or other sort of mischief. This meant a lot of “Big Ive, don’t do that. Big Ive, where are you? Big Ive, please stop touching that” was said.
Well, this older lady walks up to us — she must have been in her 60’s — and asks what Big Ive’s name is because she had overheard us while she was shopping. I told her the name. She stops, gets this misty look in her eyes and says, “My mother’s name was Big Ive.” It was super sweet. We chatted for a minute and then I introduced her to Little E, saying something like, “And this is Little E.” Her jaw dropped and she put her hand on her heart. She was completely dumbfounded hearing that name and told us her mother’s best friend for over 40 years was named Little E. She was thrilled beyond belief to discover a new generation of best-friend sisters named Big Ive and Little E. She couldn’t wait to tell her family about it.
It brightened her day and learning about that definitely brightened our day, too.
A little bit later in the same store after shopping a little bit more…
We were in the checkout line paying for our items when Big Ive mentioned the Cat In The Hat display with plush Cat toys. She has lately begun to be very interested in the Cat In The Hat TV show on PBS. She was so excited to see those and desperately wanted one. Being the mean mother I am (just kidding…I’m actually a pretty good mom), I told her we couldn’t buy one today. She was a little sad, but not heartbroken. I rarely buy character merchandise for my kids and almost never buy plush toys (that’s another rant there…maybe sometime I’ll share that thought process). “Ich habe kein Geld. Tut mir leid.”
Anyway, a gentleman in his 60’s was behind us in line. He tried to use his discount coupon for our purchase but the cashier didn’t want to do that. When he heard Big Ive asking for the toy he said, “I’ll get one for her. If she wants it, I’ll buy it.” I thanked him profusely and told him a number of times that it really wasn’t necessary and she really didn’t need to have it. He said, “I never had a Cat In The Hat when I was a kid. I want to get it for her.” And after the cashier rang up his items he told her to put it on his bill. Big Ive was handed Cat and she said a big thank you to the man. She was thrilled beyond belief that she got the Cat In The Hat toy.
Oh, my, you should have seen that kid the rest of the afternoon and evening. Everything she did had to involve Cat. We walked across a parking lot and I told her to hold my hand. “Cat In Hat hold Ive’s hand.” So she had to walk holding my hand and Cat’s hand. Cat had to sit with her in her car seat. “Cat In Hat sit wif Ive.” She even had to go to bed with him. This might not be a big thing for some kids, but Big Ive has never been a kid to be attached to an object. She didn’t have a specific blanket or toy or soothing thing (other than the binkie).
A slightly sick little girl loving on her Cat In The Hat while watching cartoons.
I’m thankful for a heart-filling day. I’m thankful for meeting sweet strangers. I’m thankful for my children who provide wonderful opportunities to meet people I probably would never meet had they not been loving, curious children who like people. I’m thankful for older, wiser people. And I pray we instill in our children the gift of loving people of all ages and recognizing everyone’s importance.
Makes my heart smile. : )