Micah had a doctor's appointment today, so I kept him home from school. It was a follow-up appointment kind of visit, so we were not infecting anyone with germs by being out and about in town. Which is a good thing, because we were out and about in town.
My first stop was the post office. But before we could get there I had to come back in the house and wait a bit for the van to warm up. No garage + single digit temperatures = one very cold ride. So after strapping our seat belts on, both Micah and I realized that we should probably wait in the house until the van's heater warmed up enough to blow hot air. I was really glad that our backsides weren't frozen fast to the leather seats. After ten minutes, I realized that the van was never going to warm up, because Micah, in trying to configure the controls to blow warm air right this minute, turned the air conditioning on.
THEN we headed to the post office. On the way to the post office, I realized that Micah wasn't wearing socks. I know the boy is hot blooded and all, but going sockless at 9 degrees just isn't smart. His mom should probably be more aware of his dressing habits. She's a slacker. Added to the list of errands: a trip to Walmart to buy the boy some socks.
I'm really glad that I got those socks. Besides the obvious fact that Micah's ankles could get frostbitten (even though his feet were incredibly warm; the boy is so hot blooded), it would have been incredibly embarrassing at the doctor's office when the nurse said, "can he take his shoes off so we can weigh him?"
Micah was none too happy about going to a doctor's office today. He was slightly placated by the fact that no IVs were involved, but decided to play doctor with his nervous energy. I think he touched everything in the room. Twice. And then rode the wheely chair from one end of the room to the other while the doctor and I talked. It was one of those days when I just let Micah do it, because in the grand scheme of life, a battle over riding wheely chairs doesn't really register. The boy was on edge anyway, and I didn't want to shove him off the Cliff of Compliance. I had other stops, and another doctor's appointment to sit through, and I learned a long time ago that compliancy is my best friend. I will achieve it at great cost. Even at the cost of purple wheely chairs gleefully ridden back and forth in the doctor's office.
I decided that it has been a very long time since I've had the opportunity to have a lunch date with Micah, and treated him to the Chinese buffet. It's his favorite place in town, next to McDonald's. I watched the boy eat like he was starving, and reminded him to take smaller bites, and swallow before stuffing his mouth again. I followed him back to the buffet for seconds. Then dessert. His face wore more than what was left on his plate, and his hands were a sticky mess. When we were done eating, I tried not to make it a battle as I cleaned off his face with a wet napkin. (Reason #1 to get water to drink when dining out with Micah.) I chased his face from right to left, and up and down, and laughed as I reminded him that he needed to be cleaned, even if it killed him. I kissed his newly cleaned cheek and gathered our things to go.
As I was assisting Micah with his coat, a lady walked by, said, "Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Something.", and tossed exactly enough money at me to cover our lunch bill. It was one of those moments that are so very unexpected and awesome that all I could do was say, "thank you!" which is the appropriate thing to say, of course. But when it's said while choking back tears of gratitude for such an unexpected act of kindness, it sounds rather like sarcasm.
To the lady at the Chinese buffet today, THANK YOU. You have no idea how much this impacted me today. And it was a reminder to me that I should pay forward small kindnesses like this myself far more often than I do. I cannot predict what happens to us this coming year, but I can help change the day for other people simply by saying a kind word, sharing a few dollars, or giving a hug. And there's no better New Year's resolution than that.