“When will we be at the next troll?”
“The next troll?” I asked as I turned to figure out what Biz was talking about. He was drawing away in the backseat of the car.
“The troll, Mom. When will we get there?”
“Do you mean the tollbooth?”
“YES! The troll booth.”
“We’ll be to the next one soon. And it’s called a tollbooth. Why do you ask?”
At this point G and my husband were giggling at Biz’s semantics as we drove along the New York Thruway, heading home from an epic Syracuse trip on New Year’s Day.
“Oh. Toll booth. I have a picture for the tollbooth people.”
My husband often lets whoever is sitting behind the driver hand the money to the person at the tollbooth. As the car slows and the window rolls down, he reminds either G or Biz to greet the person in the tollbooth and to remember to say thank you when we drive away. That day, we wished everyone a happy new year.
Our last two stops at the toll booth included a greeting, a happy new year and an original piece of artwork from Biz. It was completely random and completely Biz’s idea.
The first recipient of the artwork was an older woman with a blank face. She received the money and the small picture and didn’t flinch. Until she realized what she had in her hand. My husband explained that Biz, age 5, wanted to give her a picture he drew. Her face lit up with a huge smile, and she shared that she used to teach preschool. She leaned over to personally thank Biz.
The second recipient was a younger woman. When she saw the picture, she smiled an equally big smile, giggled a bit and told us we made her day.
We’ll probably never see those women again, but I’d like to think that
we Biz made them a little happier about working a major holiday in a tollbooth. Who knows? Maybe they responded by performing their own acts of kindness.
I share this story with you because today marks the first day of Random Acts of Kindness Week. From February 10-16, 2014, you are encouraged to “step out of your normal routine or comfort zone and attempt a new random act of kindness each day.”
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website has tons of kindness ideas and resources. You can even download a RAK Week bookmark, write something kind on it, and leave it in a book you find at a local library or bookstore. Imagine the happiness you’ll spread!
Yesterday, on my Simple Giving Lab tumblr blog, I shared 10 kindness ideas to get you inspired. You can also check out this list I created on SkinnyScoop for even more inspiration.