- Finding the faith and the funny in life with ten kids.
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The Big Picture

Just a Little Kindness

Our oldest had flown the coop.  First to college, then the Navy.   It had been months since we had seen him, and his birthday was coming.
"Why don't we go see Tiger for spring break?" Captain Fun said to me one morning.
"Uh, do you know how much that would cost?"  I failed math in college, but I did know that airline tickets for seven kids and three adults from Vermont to Virgina would be a hefty sum.
"And it is worth every penny," he said.   (Like I've said before, I don't call him Captain Fun for nothing).
We bought the tickets.  We packed 10 suitcases, two car seats, and one diaper bag. We were a sight at the airport.  A spectacle. An exhibition.
"I bet you had to mortgage your house to make this trip," a man in the security line said.
Everyone paired off and we boarded the plane.  Bethany, 18, and Dorothy, 4, were a perfect match.  Ben, 12, paired up with Cory, 6, for some brotherly  bonding.  Mary, 10, and Emma, 9, were inseparable. Captain Fun escorted his mother, who really didn't need an escort, even at 81.  And, as always, I got dibs on the baby.  I like it that way.
To save money, we landed about two hours from Norfolk.  We claimed our bags--all ten of them--and made our way to the rental car counter to drive the rest of the way.  Twenty minutes turned into thirty.  Forty five minutes approached an hour.  The rental agent assured  us that our twelve passenger van was coming momentarily.  I kept throwing snacks at the kids, assuring them that we were not sleeping over at the airport.  Captain Fun kept assuring the agent that the wait was no big deal.
After almost  90 minutes, the car was ready.  We thanked the agent  from the bottom of our tired hearts. 
"Now I am totally convinced that you guys are nuts," my son said when we finally arrived at his base. I blamed Captain Fun for the idea, as well as the marvelous time we had with Tiger all week.  It was a shot in the arm for all of us.
We returned home via the same route, of course.  Same airport, same rental car company, even the same agent.  "Hey!" he said when he saw my husband approach the counter.  "I was just talking to my mother about you last night."
"You were?" 
He nodded. "I told her that one of my customers changed my life this week by his kindness," he said, adding he would be going to church on Sunday as a result.
While we were waiting to board, he gathered the kids and told them what the agent had said.  "You had a part in that," he added, "because you were so patient and well behaved," he told them.  "See the difference a little kindness makes?"
Four years have passes since that trip, but once in a while the kids will talk about it, and the conclusion is always the same; whether it is by speaking a good word or simply controlling your temper, the far reaching effects of kindness cannot be underestimated.
"Do all things without complaining or arguing, that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe, as you hold out the Word of life.." Philippians 2:14-16  (--NIV)

6 Comments to Just a Little Kindness:

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joan on Friday, March 11, 2011 11:34 AM
Boy, is that the truth...we had the same opportunity to show some "grace" to the man who was trying to find our Drew's(our oldest son) skis that somehow got lost overnight. We sensed that God used that moment as an opportunity for them to see our loving and patient Lord...I LOVE these stories... it makes me feel like you are back in my kitchen again....and I laughed out loud AGAIN!
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margie on Saturday, March 12, 2011 11:38 AM
Joan, thanks for sharing that. I miss your kitchen!
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Denise Daoud on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 11:34 AM
Well Margie , this story will keep me entertained for days and i will never be afraid to fly again. I am hoping to run into at the airport and have fun!!!!!!!!!. Like today
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margie on Thursday, March 17, 2011 5:37 PM
Denise, I am glad you liked my post. One day we will be in the airport together on our way to England, I hope! Thanks for coming with me to Rome (NY) this week!

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