In a week of week of worrying lows and a few frightening firsts I’ve done well to keep my head above water! My first tooth extraction was more than traumatic. There was a rush job to A&E that I certainly hadn’t factored in. Then there’s my Dad whom I love dearly, and well-up over daily, as I try to drag him from this almighty despondent funk.
I don’t know about you – but I have the odd day where I’m a bit at odds with the world, a lost cause. Unfortunately they’ve been scarily frequent since losing Mum. I adore my kids – but as they grow, I worry more, I work harder to please them and to fulfil their needs and my lot are a full time job!!! Whilst they’re getting older and wiser and more interactive, which floods me with pride and joy,- they’re getting more active and more and more demanding on time, and energy and finances .. blimey and I’ve got three!
So, after his Elite football match on Monday Jem tells me his boots are too small (I later discover they’re lost without trace!) and he needs new ones for his match – next week. We seriously have so little time, I spend my days bumbling mindlessly from one job to the next, from one set of multi-tasks to another and… well… fitting everything in is a challenge in itself … my TO DO list getting longer not shorter and it’s harder than an Impossipuzzle!
My objective for the past few days has been to update a report on my eldest son, the last of which ran to more than 40 pages! I can use last years report as a guide – but it’s a mixed blessing, I’m pretty much re-writing it. Things with Archie are pretty fluid and ever-changing to say the least! This past year has been a ‘toughie’ as my dear departed Mum would say. Anyway, I’ve only really got through the first page (it’s all in my head and I’m a Pitman-fast touch typist – but..) it’s an emotional feat and … well, this week has been manic!
Wonderfully manic in the main I hasten to add, clutching at the positive. I caught up with a very lovely friend (an ex-colleague) that I hadn’t seen in ions and when she finally made it to my humble abode (she had no sat nav and her geographical skills are even worse than mine!) I couldn’t have smiled wider! She came bearing gifts; the most beautiful bunch of white tulips and Easter treats for the kids (both appreciated and gratefully accepted) but SHE was the ray of sunshine. We had the biggest hug on arrival, it was like bringing part of my warm and cosy past back into existence. It was REALLY great to see Jeni. You couldn’t get a word in edgeways as we fought for air space – desperately trying to catch up on the past 20 years in a couple of hours as well as fitting in a plate of hastily prepared sandwiches and a slice of courgette and lime cake with strawberries and cream too (Charlotte you might be an Angel that’s flown – but I think of you often and your love and support will live on in Arch and your tasty legacy will frequently fill our tummies xx). There has been SO much gone on for the pair of us. Jeni has two handsome sons, a little older than mine, handsome (I know I said that twice) and equally talented. I couldn’t wait to share in her super excitement that her youngest son’s up and coming band, District 12, has just been signed. I’m thrilled for him, and moreover for her, and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them. I’ve caught glimpses of wonder from her Facebook page – but can only expect to see more and more fabulousness in the months and years to come…
I digress ,… so I caught up with a dear old friend (blimey I sound 90 – but tbh I bloody feel it too), I ferried the kids to and from school, to and from after school clubs and extra-curricular activities … Oh and to and from A&E which wasn’t such a quick jaunt! I’ve had my Dad for tea, and phoned him every hour or two to check up on him … he’s particularly lonely of late and is a constant worry to me (after all I’m all he’s got left of our trio *sniff*). All the usual housework (cough, splutter), my work in school with the lovely Year 2’s, the pain management, the underachievers prep for Easter, the constant emails and phone calls to ensure Archie’s continued care and all the guff and nonsense rammed in amongst … oh and that blessed report which is as depressing as it is long and that I’ve still barely started… So, let’s say it has indeed been a ‘toughie.’
Yesterday as a stand alone wasn’t easy – Pete was in London and I had to manage the dismantling of Archie’s bed and the delivery and erecting of a replacement – new one. I have to say both teams of lads were impressively efficient and pleasant, fuelled on mugs of strong Yorkshire tea. I’d promised Jem that we’d nip and get him some new football boots after school, if our over-worked Angel, Eloise, was happy to be left in charge of Arch and Scarlett. She’s done a sterling job this week, of covering for Angel Heather (who’s whooping it up in NYC). She’ll be so very glad that Good Friday gives her an evening off! Eloise agreed with a smile, so, as suggested, when she arrived we jumped in the car and headed to Guiseley.
We rang Dad on the way to get him out and get him involved. I was feeling particularly guilty that with my appointments, pain, and panicky trip to A&E, I hadn’t seen much of him this week, thus far, and I do feel terribly responsible. Anyways, as I said, I rang to remind him to meet us there, despite the fact that I’d spoken to him at least 4 times through the day and mentioned and repeated the time and place numerous times already.
Traffic wasn’t great (rush hour) so when we arrived and he wasn’t there we padded about outside the store and gave him some leeway. Minutes later, I thought I saw him heading towards TK Maxx, and rang his mobile, he didn’t pick up. He was heading back to his car some way away and we spotted him as he climbed in and started the engine (we feared he was leaving already)- so Jem ran over at great speed and grabbed him! We did the whole boot thing, swerving the bright and very lovely,but slim fitting Messi’s (that one of his best friend’s has and he desperately wanted) for a pair of equally shiny, impressive and ‘comfy’ Nike. (I paid,despite his kind offer – I don’t want him to think that we’re inviting him everywhere so he can pay, because he’s so grateful of any company he always offers, and I for one don’t want to take advantage of his generosity – that’s certainly not the idea … money is immaterial, love and assurance is key). I wanted my Dad to think he was there for his invaluable football insight – after all, I know absolutely jack on the subject, and my Dad not only captained Guiseley an exceptionally good and award-winning team. (I’m really so bad that I fear that’s not the term – but you get my gist). Besides, my Dad thinks the world of his Grandson and is incredibly proud of his sporting prowess.
Anyways, my Dad spent 30 minutes turning his nose up at the girlie pink ones, saying ‘They di’n’t make ’em like that in my day’ and wowing at the selection. ‘We had black – that’s all – just black – none of this poncy lot’ – God love him!
We had an hour or so, before Eloise’s curfew, so we decided to nip into the not-so-new-but-it-was-to-me-because-I-don’t-get-out-much-Costa in the Next store and my Dad was again keen to pay so I relented on this one. He’d spotted a delicious looking Bakewell tart (his favourite) and Jem was dead set on the sight of a triple chocolate muffin and grabbed his favourite Innocent smoothie (he’s still not forgotten of when I took boxes full of Innocent smoothie’s into his school after I acquired them for a little writing job I’d done … oh and not forgetting a muffin to take home for Scarlett.
Dad coppered up, but we agreed there wasn’t enough change, and decided using his card was a better idea. When we got to the counter and put in our drinks orders he had his card in hand ready to pay, but after several attempts at jabbing it into the machine every which way (that slot’s not an easy target for me never mind my Dad), when he finally got it in and punched in the number it failed. I’m guessing he’d forgotten or used the number of another card. I could see his frustration furrowed in his brow and knew he had plentiful funds – but he’d definitely forgotten his number. The kindly young girl at the other side of the counter must’ve seen the drama playing out. I scrabbled for my purse watching my Dad’s eyes droop with worry, all the while allaying Dad’s fears and calming him saying it was OK and that I was happy to pay. He was beyond exasperated. The young cashier suddenly rang the drinks and cakes through and passed me the receipt – ‘It’s on us’ she trilled with a smile. I looked at her quite agog, apologising profusely for the mix-up and blithered on about having the money and opening my purse but she shooed me away … It’s one of our ‘Little Acts of Happiness’ she assured. I asked and double-asked but her colleagues all smiled and nodded in agreement – so I thanked and double-thanked and ushered Jem and Dad towards an empty table with tears in my eyes and a hefty lump in my throat.
My Dad was totally baffled, worried and touched all in one. His face was a picture and he was teared-up too, albeit with a smile and we all agreed it was a really AMAZING thing to do. It couldn’t have happened on a better day at a better time. They’d timed their act to perfection!
After the day I’d had I couldn’t have been more appreciative. It’s random acts of kindness, such as this, that truly touch me … and I don’t mean just those personal to me – I get choked hearing and seeing of others too. Just recently a partner of a very good friend of mine had been at a ‘hole in the wall’ in London and with worldly weights on her shoulders and a whole lot on her mind she’d walked away without her cash! A homeless man sat nearby had alerted her to her mistake. She was so grateful and so appreciative – that she’d returned to the machine, withdrawn another £10 note and given it to him. I love her all the more for that, for him for his honesty and it’s things like this that bring a salty whoosh to my eyes and make my heart beat so much stronger.
I drove home yesterday with Jem clutching his new boots and a big smile on my face. I was truly touched.
We had all made sure that we thanked the staff on leaving Costa and Dad gave Jem a few pounds to add to their tip pot.
I gave the young girl one of my ‘business cards’ (don’t laugh – I know I don’t work per se and I’m no longer a 9-5 whore, but after a trip to the International Women’s Day Conference in Harrogate a few weeks ago, I had to get more cards from Moo to replenish my stocks) I explained to her that I’m a blogger and that I’d be mentioning her act of kindness.
So, pretty Costa girl, if you’re reading this, I want you to know that you made a massive difference to my day yesterday. In a tough week, where I’ve had bad news aplenty, important tasks galore and an A&E trip already and you probably saw how my Dad is becoming such a worry to me and tonight was a real wake up call. I just want to say a very geniune
On a week that had otherwise hit the skids you provided a lifeline, a ray of light and your act of kindness really hit a high note. It’s acts like this, from people like you, that make the world a better place.
Costa having acted in such a genuinely lovely way and wavering our bill today, you saved my father’s pride and my sanity. I think of all the people reading this, and those that I will mention it to in passing – it will prove more than cost effective. I do hope this post raises your PR in a very positive way and proves beneficial to your footfall and profits. For whatever reason your ‘Act of Happiness’ made it from Board table to staff member, it has and will work wonders.
I ended yesterday with a smile.