I had a serious fajita burrito craving this week, so I decided to go out and grab my dinner. I wound up waiting in line behind a mother and her two small children, neither of whom could have been over the age of six. The little girl was clearly tired and remaining close to Mom (read: both arms wrapped around her leg), while the boy was taking every opportunity to explore the restaurant. He tugged on the legs of other people in line, then waved when they looked down at him; he ran to the door and pointed at the cool cars driving by. He then dashed over to investigate exactly how full the dispensers of plastic forks and knives were (looking, not yanking them out--I was impressed!). He was a flurry of activity unto himself and the polar opposite of his sister. Meanwhile, his poor mother was trying to divide her attention between him, making sure that her daughter didn't fall off her leg every time she stepped with her right leg, and finishing the taco order that she was trying to make. I have enough friends with children to know how challenging it can be at times and I wasn't in a hurry, so when the mother shot me a couple of very apologetic glances between ordering and calling to her son I just smiled back at her and told her not to worry about it.
When she finally managed to finish the order, wrangle the kids, and pay for her meal, she turned to me and handed me the gift card with which she had just finished paying. She said that she knew there wasn't much left on it, but she appreciated my patience in following her through the line. I stopped in my tracks. She didn't know me, she had enough on her plate to handle, but she stopped to give me a gesture of thanks. There was something like $1.36 left on the card--not much in the scheme of things, but it really made my day. It reminded me that next time I go through a drive through, I need to pay for the car behind me. Or just pay for my coffee shop coffee with a larger bill than necessary and ask them to apply the change to the next person who comes through. Hopefully it can make someone else's day.