Family, Parenting

The Generosity of Strangers

This past weekend my family and I went up to the cottage in beautiful Southampton, Ontario. We packed up our things and drove 2.5 hours north from Toronto to enjoy some time away from our city life. It was Canada Day weekend and we celebrate up there with the kids if our summer plans allow us to.

DSC_7590Since I was a little kid, my parents always took my sister and I to Southampton Beach to watch the annual Canada Day firework show. The town puts together an awesome firework display and most of the town comes out to celebrate while sitting on the sandy beach. There is a beautiful view of a massive Canada flag that stands right at where the main street and the beach meet. We have continued this tradition with the boys even if they were too young to fully appreciate it a few years ago. This year, with a 3.5-year-old and 1.5-year-old in tow, we had a feeling it would be extra fun.

We got to the beach and set up our chairs and blankets as we waited for the fireworks to begin. The boys played happily in the sand for a while, but it wasn’t long until my oldest noticed an older boy behind us playing with sparklers.

“Mommy, can I have one of those?” he asked.

“Oh sorry, we don’t have any of those buddy,” I said. It hadn’t occurred to me that he was at the age now where sparklers would be of interest. Rookie mom mistake!

As we continued playing, the boy from behind us came up and asked if my son would like a sparkler. What a sweet thing to do! His mom happily let my kid have two sparklers and honestly, it probably made my son’s night!

Shortly after this, a dad from a family sitting nearby came up and gave us a blue and a yellow glow stick — one for each of my kids. The look on my kids’ faces when they got those glow sticks was hilarious! They were so excited and my youngest was in awe.

What a simple thing these two families did, and yet their generosity brought so much joy to my children — and to me! On Canada Day, I think there is nothing more fitting than people reaching out to help one another and showing kindness. This is especially helpful to a parent who may have dropped the ball in planning activities for the kids (woops!).

I am very grateful for their generosity and I will be sure to pay it forward.

After all, it costs nothing to be kind.

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