A Letter to the Man in the Target Checkout Lane

targetThank you. Thank you for being a complete (and unexpected) ray of sunshine in my day. You didn’t have to be kind. You didn’t have to smile at my kids. You didn’t have to let us go ahead of you. But you did. You did all that because you are truly a genuine, kind-hearted person.

11231682_10105026943876071_4811084461364766127_nWe were having a particularly rough day – but you didn’t know that. Our trip to Target was our ‘outing’ for the day – it was the only time we left the house and during the hours leading up to that ‘outing’ I was feeling defeated. I was feeling like a bad mom because we were all cooped up and while I desperately needed a nap (because – NO sleep the night before), my kids needed my undivided attention. I was feeling lonely and really missing my girlfriends who live out of state – I was missing adult interaction. I was feeling overwhelmed because my kids were sick (my twins had ear infections), grumpy & unwilling to reason and my workload was feeling like more than I could handle. My house was a mess and my to-do list was a mile long. I was living off of sugar & caffeine and to say I was feeling deflated would be an understatement.

Then YOU came along – you smiled at us, you told me how cute & sweet my kids were and after I told you that you could check out ahead of us in line since you had far fewer items, (than my cart load with $100 worth of things that I like to call ‘retail therapy!’), you warmly smiled and said “No – you go ahead – I am really enjoying your children.” You helped me put my problems into perspective and realize that maybe my day wasn’t so rough after all. You helped me remember just how lucky I am to have three beautiful children and while they may sometimes spread me thin – they are the essence of my life and the most wonderful gift life ever could have given me. I smiled and responded to your comment and told you “Thank you. They’re being good right now – but that could change at any second.” You didn’t seem to mind and insisted that we go ahead.

As the cashier rang up our items, you interacted with my three year old. You asked her if she liked being a big sister and what her favorite color was. She loved the attention and you laughed when she asked if you were a big brother. You commented on her painted finger nails – which immediately made you her favorite person for the day! As we left you told me I was doing a great job and to have a blessed day. You have no idea how much those words meant to me in that moment.

You put me at ease and your kindness may have been small in your mind, but it completely turned my day around. Sometimes the simplest acts of kindness go the furthest distance. I can only assume you have grandchildren of your own and if you do, they are lucky little ones to have such a loving, warm & compassionate papa.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reminding me that my kids are something to be enjoyed and treasured – even on the toughest of days.

All my best,

The Lady With 3 Little Ones in Aisle 9

***Ever since this interaction, I’ve made an intentional effort to smile and engage with one stranger each time I’m at the store. It is truly amazing how a couple kind words from a stranger can completely brighten a day. In a world where it’s easy to focus on the bad, I prefer to focus on the good – and there is SO much good that goes unnoticed!


2 Responses to A Letter to the Man in the Target Checkout Lane

  1. Amy J January 4, 2016 at 9:23 am #

    I love this! And thank you for the tip to smile even when it might be the last thing I want to do. It has made a difference for me in the past!

  2. Joan M May 10, 2016 at 10:32 pm #

    Such a good reminder of the impact of simple kindness. Glad you wrote about it!

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