I have to tell you what happened a few days ago.
True (8 yrs old) rode his bike up to the local bike shop here in small town Sisters, Oregon. Before I tell you what happened, I have to tell you that riding his bike up to the bike shop has been a big deal to him. In Portland, his bike riding boudaries for exploring were pretty restricted, but here in Sisters, we’ve expanded his boundaries. He’s loving the increased freedom.
SO. He rides up to the bike shop and finds THE pair of biking gloves that he’s been looking for (they fit his small hands). True tells Romeo, the guy working at the shop, that he’s gonna ride back home and ask his dad if he can have the money to buy the gloves. True then rides his bike home and is told that he can’t get the $25 gloves today. True, feeling bummed, heads back to the bike shop and tells Romeo that he’ll have to pass on the gloves, but thanks anyway.
Then this happens:
Romeo: True, you’re a good kid, right?
Romeo: You’re a hard worker, right?
Romeo: I’m going to GIVE you these gloves. Enjoy them!
True: Really???? WHAT???!!!! THANK YOU!
True rides home, busts through the door and says, “You are not going to believe what just happened!” HUGE smile on his face as he recounts every single detail.
Here’s the thing, friends. This move hasn’t been easy for True. He misses his old house. He misses his friends. He’s been skeptical about small town living. And then, in the midst of all this adjustment and transition, a grown-up did something really kind for him. And it blew his mind. AND it has shown him one of the perks of small town living, which is that people remember you. They see you coming into the book store all of the time and say “Hey, True! I ordered a book for you that I think you’ll like!” (YES, this has happened here – thank you Leigh!). And they see you riding up to the bike store all the time, too.
Kindness changes everything.
Don’t underestimate your impact. You might just reach a kid during a hard season of life and lift his spirit (and change his mind about small towns).
Big love and thanks, Romeo!