A car drove past Mario and me while we biked to school this morning. I thought the guy driving was a colleague so when we biked past him, I waved. As I waved, I noticed that the guy was not my colleague and no one I knew. I said “that’s embarrassing, Mario. I just waved at that stranger.”
Mario’s reply: “No it’s not, mom. You probably made his day. He may have been sad and now he’s not.”
These are the moments where I realize that my kids have listened and seen me, and they have instilled some of my values in their lives. Mario has seen me say “hi” to people passing by, be pleasant to workers bagging our groceries, strike up a conversation with a gentleman waiting for a bus while we waited on our bike for the traffic light to change. He has witnessed the smiles on these people’s faces after someone smiles at them, says hello to them, engages with them. And he has heard me talk about the importance of being nice to others and how you can never know when someone just needs a smile to feel better.
And so he reminded me that I shouldn’t be embarrassed about waving to that stranger but rather feel happy that I may have made someone’s day and allowed them to see the randomness that is this life – be it a stranger waving at you or a bright red Autumn leaf falling on your shoulder or a child blooming right before your eyes.