This morning I had a little extra skip in my step.... yes folks, our ridiculously long 2-week Spring Break is finally over! I hummed a little tune as I dropped my youngest off at school, then remembered to hurry to the dry-cleaners to drop off hubby's uniforms, and my older son's JROTC uniform - he needs to trade it in for a larger one, which has to be done by tomorrow, since Wednesday is Uniform Day at school. The only way he can take his uniform to exchange tomorrow, is if I pick it up this afternoon - and the only way to have it ready by this afternoon was to drop it off NLT 0900.
SO, I was kind of in a rush, and got impatient with the slowing of traffic caused by a towtruck on the side of the road. I mentally smacked myself for being so mean when I saw that the towtruck was loading a stranded car, and standing next to them on the side of the road was the car's driver, a twenty-something man holding a car seat over one shoulder and a little girl over his other shoulder. She had to be less than three years old. I felt bad, but continued on my way, knowing I had only a couple of minutes to meet the dry-cleaner's deadline.
I made it to the cleaner's at 0859, but there was a line....I waited for my turn, and it was at least 5 minutes past nine by the time I got up to the counter. Not only did the girl smile and offer to rush it for me anyway, but she noticed that Hubby had a clean uniform there that was waiting for pickup. So, spring back in my step, I hung the uniform in the back seat and headed back home. On the opposite side of the road, I noticed that the towtruck was gone - but the daddy and little girl were still there. He had a cell phone up to his ear, so I initially ignored my instinct to offer him help....but then started flashing to memories of times I have been completely stranded with my own children, and have been rescued by total strangers.
I flipped a U-turn and went back to offer them a ride.
After all, my children are in school for the day, and there is nowhere I really HAVE to be, and my car runs just fine. I even have a full tank of gas, so no reason I can't help someone in need, right? In the 45 seconds or so that it took before I pulled over next to the stranded motorist, I talked myself out of taking this risk at least 3 times - but each time talked myself back INTO helping. After all, my husband's uniform was hanging in the backseat, clearly visible, so if this guy was a bad guy, he wouldn't risk trying anything with ME, right? Everyone knows not to mess with a Marine or his family, right? I reminded myself that I know for certain I will rely on the kindness of strangers many more times in the course of my life. And the guy looked really clean-cut, not a 'thug' type. And he had his LITTLE GIRL with him, for crying out loud! Right?
So why was I still so worried when I pulled over and rolled down my window? My heart was literally POUNDING and suddenly I had this crazy realization that, IF this guy means me any harm, I am pretty much helpless.... 4 months pregnant, alone, unarmed. STUPID STUPID STUPID, right?
But I found my voice and called out to the the guy, asking if he needed a ride somewhere. He smiled and my breathing returned to normal as he thanked me and DECLINED my offer. He explained that his friend was on the way, would be there in just minutes. His daughter (oh man, what a CUTE little girl!) was afraid to ride along in the towtruck, so he had opted to find a ride instead.
WHEW. So, I was not in any danger, I don't have to feel guilty for NOT offering help, and in the end, I didn't even HAVE to give a stranger a ride.
Still glad that I listened to my heart instead of my mind on this one, and can still feel that -just by offering- I have done my good deed for the day.
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