Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Mint Lady, It takes a Village

There are these adorable little girls at our church, Talia and Gianna.  Cute, cute, cute sweet girls.  About five months ago, their mom was very, very pregnant.  We've all been there girls, when you really cannot see the end of the tunnel, even though you are pretty sure you won't be pregnant forever.  Their mom, Carla, had to go run a quick errand in between services, Talia was at Jam'n Kids band practice with Tatum and Gianna was getting a little  bored.  Carla was trying to convince the precious three year old to get back in the car to run the errand and they would be right back.  Now, I have to say, our church is fun for kids.  They go to their own service and jump around, sing songs and learn about God at their own level.  Gianna didn't want to go, because like most three year olds, she could only see the "go" part, not the coming back part.

So I leaned over, and said if she went with momma and was "good", when she got back, I would give her a mint.  I even showed her the mints in my purse.  Off she went, came back, told me with big round eyes that she had been good and popped her little hand out.  I gave her a mint, congratulated her for being good for her mom and thought nothing of it.  The next week at church, up comes Gianna and her big sister Talia.  Gianna tells me how good she has been all week, and looks up expectantly.  Luckily, I have some mints, give both the girls one, they give me a hug and a thank you and they are on their way.

So now, I have to have mints.  Because I am the "mint" lady.  They run up every week, smiles on their faces, "Miss Kay, Miss Kay, mint!!!!"  That is little Gianna, how can I resist.  I have this huge box of mini candy canes left over from Christmas, I just keep handfuls in my purse.  I do look at the mom and make sure they have been good.  And at the Easter egg hunt a couple of weeks ago, Gianna was melting down (way too many things going on and way too much sugar) and I kind of butted in a little and told her how much it hurt me when she did not listen to her mommy.  I have to know she is being good all the time, not just on Sundays.  Her mom is a friend of mine and says I don't have to give the girls mints all the time, they love me anyway, and I know that, but I love it.

So as my children get older and are not so impressed with a peppermint from my purse, I am honored to be the mint lady.  I love speaking into their little lives.  It reminds me of when my kids were little and someone around them showed them a kindness, even a small one.

Doesn't it just warm your heart when someone shows a kindness to your child?  Can you remember someone from your childhood who was your mint lady?  What small thing can you do today to help someone who is five or six years behind you in mothering?  Our lives are not made up of huge wonderful gestures, but of many small kindnesses.  The grand gesture is not required, the small, sweet ones are.  Reach out and be kind today.

Be kind to the mom whose child is screaming in the check out line.  Give her a smile, assure her you have been where she is at, and smile.  Find someone outside of your circle and give them some grace today.

God bless you and yours.

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