So, initially, I wasn’t going to share this story because it’s fairly humiliating. But, I’m swallowing my pride and sharing it for the following three reasons:
- We all love that feeling we get when we hear stories that showcase human beings being benevolent to one another. It just makes us feel good about the world and restores our faith in humanity. Check!
- Lately, I’ve been challenging myself to lean a little more readily into vulnerability, embarrassing moments, and getting comfortable with discomfort because, as Pema Chödrön says: “Resistance to unwanted circumstances has the power to keep those circumstances alive and well for a very long time.”
- And perhaps most importantly, let’s be honest, we all secretly love to hear stories about people failing at life, because it makes us feel so much better about ourselves.
So, this is my gift to you… Merry Christmas!
So, earlier this week, I was in the Westshore Capital Iron with my brood, picking up a few last-minute stocking-stuffers for the people on my list. Capital Iron, by the way, is a magical store that literally has something for everyone: sports fanatics, camping people, outdoorsy types, fishers, culinary creatives, the Martha-Stewart-types, and kids, too! It’s a great place to do last-minute Christmas shopping, plus it’s locally owned, and it turns out, they are all about being kind and going the extra mile for their community!
At the checkout, I remember patiently reminding my three-and-a-half year-old to kindly STAAAAAP touching all of the tempting items at toddler height about 17 million times, while playing an animated game of peek-a-boo with my baby in the stroller, who kept threatening to completely lose it and sabotage the entire operation. As we exited the store, bags in hand, I felt a distinct sense of relief: we had MADE it! Mission accomplished!
Pleased with myself, I set the stroller and bags beside the vehicle, then I buckled each child in the car. I even smiled with uncharacteristic love and tolerance, as boots and socks flew off of mischievous feet as we pulled out of the chaotic parking lot. Oh, you guys…
It wasn’t until the next morning, as I was digging through my purse readying myself for the day, that I realized my wallet was gone. Assuming it had been lovingly tucked into a ride-on car or oven of the play-kitchen, I casually began my search while simultaneously tending to the rapid-fire demands for breakfast, specific outfits, and advent calendars.
While checking emails and messages on my phone, I noticed one from my friend, Lyndsay: “I’ve just tagged your name on the mom’s group.” Anticipating encouraging or funny meme, I checked the group post. It turns out a fellow mom and Capital Iron employee, Alison, had tagged my name and written the following: “Can anyone help me out? We have some important belongings of hers at Capital Iron. Thanks for helping!”
My wallet! Immediately, I messaged her and announced I’d be in as soon as possible.
I arrived at Capital Iron, about an hour later. The store was bustling with shoppers and there were lines several people deep at both cash registers, so in the interest of time, I sheepishly made my way to the back of the store where several employees were working on inventory and helping customers. I gingerly interrupted them and apologized, but didn’t even have to introduce myself as Alison emphatically and warmly called out, “Are you Morgane?”
She quickly led me to the back corner of the store and unlocked the door to a small room, all the while assuring me that as a mom, she understood how easy it was to misplace items, that we all do so much during this time of year, and that she’s done similar things before. I nodded gratefully, as she handed me my wallet. Slightly embarrassed, I thanked her profusely for her empathy and lack of judgement before turning to leave.
That’s when she stopped me, with a confused look on her face:
“And, you’ll obviously be wanting to retrieve your stroller, aswell, right.”
In my haste, not only had I managed to misplace and forget my wallet, but somehow, I had succeeded in unknowingly abandoning my honking big, incredibly hard-to-miss stroller with the bag of stocking stuffer purchases in the parking lot, too. It became apparent that the staff at Capital Iron had not only salvaged my wallet, but had braved the elements to recuperate my stroller and items, then set out to track me down. That’s dedication!
I think what struck me most was that my sleep-deprived, over-loaded brain didn’t even notice it was gone! Who does that? I started laughing, helplessly doubling over with tears springing to my eyes, as Alison giggled alongside me.
Strangers and a friend had committed themselves to reuniting me with my items, all the while demonstrating much-appreciated compassion towards me.
As I left the store, this time with the stroller, bag, and wallet, I was overcome by gratitude for the amazing community in which I live.