It was a perfect sunny day that was sandwiched between two rainy gray ones and I was cravin’ me some baby love. Knowing my brother and sister-in-law were anxious to do some work on the outside of their house, I showed up to take Gracie off their hands making it sound like I was doing them a favor and not the other way around.
With her baby doll in hand, I strapped Gracie into her handy dandy trike and just as we were about to take on the hood by foot, I noticed an envelope in the middle of the road. I’m sad to admit my first thought was '“wahoo, Gracie has received early admissions to Hogwarts!” Followed by the humbling admission that although I think she is brilliant, it would be a number of years before an owl would be arriving on her doorstep.
Pulling myself out of my wizarding fantasy, a combination of curiosity and distaste for litterbugs had me meandering into the middle of the street to pick it up. There wasn’t an address on the outside of the envelope, but I found one on the inside between a bold heading yelling “personal and confidential” and the cheerful sentence “congratulations you got the job”.
The ‘inner mom’ in me automatically began picturing some poor individual missing their first big day at work, losing the job, not being able to pay for their mortgage and having to move back in with their parents all due to this one letter that went undelivered. This could be a big deal for someone. My over-dramatic concern put me into super mail-woman mode and with my trusty side-kick already strapped into her baby-mobile, we set off to deliver the precious letter feeling good about being the secret saints in the matter.
Walking away from our good deed and basking in its glory we started down the street. Moments later a mini-van drove by and tossed some papers out the window and kept on driving. Although they were obviously tossed out on purpose, there was a little part of me desperate to believe the good in people so I snatched them up and began waving them around hoping they would see me in their rear-view mirror, turn around and be crazy grateful that I flagged them down. But alas, the vehicle stayed its course leaving me dancing around in the middle of the road in a way that even embarrassed the one year old.
The situation continued to get more bizarre when upon closer inspection I noticed these papers had the same address on them as the envelope we had just graciously delivered. Does this neighbourhood have litter bandits? Mail mafia? Or just some really board teenagers skipping school to reek havoc with Canada post?
Baffled, I did the only rational thing I do… I delivered it to their mailbox.
Although part of me wanted to get passive aggressive and stick a note on top of the mail that said “thank you for not littering”, another part of me realized that I had no idea what just happened and my assumptions and judgments wouldn’t help anyone. All I could do was ask myself,
what is the kind thing to do?
Not everything in life makes sense, and when I attempt to understand the actions of someone else, I’m left with a futile action of chasing my own tail. I’m grateful that it isn’t my job to understand anyone’s actions but my own.
So, either Gracie and I made someones day or confused the daylights out of them… frankly, I’m good with either.