Friday, March 13, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness

Romania is a country of extroverts. It is impossible for me to go anywhere with my children without interacting with strangers. To date these interactions are, almost without fail, positive. Today I took the girls on the Metro to a friends house and back. Here's a sample of my day.

- We travelled in rush hour on a packed train and I couldn't get off at the stop I needed because there were too many people between my stroller and the door. Everyone in the general vicinity was aware of my plight (probably because Isobel was shouting at the top of her lungs). When we reached the next stop people pushed back the crowd getting off the train, the crowd getting on the train, and lifted my stroller off the train for me. I'm not sure whether to chalk this up as an act of kindness or an act of desperation to escape the volume of Isobel's voice.

- A man helped me carry Isobel in her stroller up the stairs.

- A different man helped me lift Isobel in her stroller over the gate to exit the Metro and offered to help me with (more) stairs.

-On the way home Noemi was staring at the bag of an older woman because it was filled with soft pretzels ... so the woman gave Noemi a pretzel.

- A man offered his seat to Noemi on the train.

- A sweet older woman volunteered to walk Noemi off the train so I could steer the stroller and then walked Noemi up the stairs so I could carry the stroller. She was unaware of our newly perfected system of holding onto the scarf hanging from the stroller:)

- My babysitter volunteered to stay late this afternoon when she saw how busy we were.

I have been overwhelmed with the kindness of strangers lately, not so much because I can't carry a stroller up the stairs, but because it is an enourmous help with language learning. I can't learn to speak unless there's someone to speak with.

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