Tuesday, August 28, 2012

a little act of kindness

norah has always loved her books. lately, she is even starting to "read" them (i.e. when she sees the boy sitting on his potty in this book, she knows to say "what's that?" - because we've read that book 19,000 times) and point out familiar things in the pictures instead of just flipping through the pages. 

this past spring, i introduced her to our local library and she fell head over heels in love. they have story time 3 days per week and there were some weeks where we went for all three! they usually have a craft or play time afterwards, and norah gets a chance to be social while i get to read a magazine in peace. every morning i ask her, "what do you want to do today?" and she almost always asks for "ly-barry?" ("swings" is a very close second).

the librarians all know her name, too. it's not hard to know when she's coming for a visit, since as soon as we walk in the door she yells up to the dome ceiling to hear her echo, announcing to everyone inside that she has arrived. she likes to check out her own books: she helps me put the books on the counter and then hands them my library card. they humor her, and let her "do it herself."

i wanted to do something for them as a thank you for their kindness and hard work, so last week we brought cookies and a thank you card with us to storytime.

but i wasn't prepared for the reaction we got! 

at the check out counter, i lifted norah up and instead of handing over books, she handed the librarian this container of cookies and a folded up piece of paper. she looked confused, so i chimed in, "these are for you, for everyone here. we just wanted to say thank you for everything. norah loves coming here so we just wanted to do something nice." (i probably stammered a lot in there. i'm not good at this kind of thing).

she looked at me a little funnily, like she didn't believe me, then down at norah (who was still holding the cookies) and said "THANK YOU!" with the biggest smile on her face and happily accepted the gift. she opened the paper and saw the drawing scribbles, then called over two more librarians who were standing nearby. the three of them were making such a fuss that two MORE librarians came over to see what was going on. they were all talking at once, saying things like "oh they brought cookies" "how nice" "how sweet" "what a pretty picture you drew, norah" and so on and so on. 

all of the women were so happy from such a seemingly small (in my eyes) gesture that I couldn't help but feel like we were the only ones in the world to ever show appreciation at that library. i'm sure (i hope) that that is not true but their reactions told otherwise. norah got lots of hugs and big smiles from everyone. as we left, we waved goodbye and said "thank you, again! see you next time!" 

i was so happy that we were able to bring a smile to those women's faces that day. i really didn't think that what we did was going to be such a big deal to them. i figured people did that kind of thing all the time. maybe i'm wrong, or maybe i'm not and others have shown thanks before. i don't really know. all i know is that we seemed to make their day.

it got me thinking about other people in our lives who could use a smile. i've seen things on pinterest, like random acts of kindness to do with kids or the birthday project and it's all making me think about what we can do to make even a small difference in our little part of the world.

i am definitely inspired to do some good and to teach norah that everyone she encounters in life deserves kindness, respect, and love. a little act of kindness goes a long way!


  1. I love that you did that. I am a children's librarian and I love my job and love seeing all of the kids that come into the library and enjoy story hour. Most people do not think to do something like that for us so it really is special when someone does think about thanking us.

    1. i'm surprised that more people don't think to show appreciation to you and others in your profession! i feel like it's the same as thanking your child's teacher. i'm definitely going to try doing more small acts of kindness in more places where people aren't thanked often enough! i hope you get shown some love at your job soon :)