One favor speaks a thousand words…

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(New to our journey? Click here to read my Lila’s birth story)

My husband has a friend whose daughter needed extra medical attention during her first few years. He tells a story of a time when their family was overwhelmed with the day to day details of caring for this sweet daughter and household chores got less attention. Suddenly, a few extra dishes in the sink went unseen and the laundry probably piled up a mile high. One warm, summer day, this man heard a familiar noise outside his house. In his overgrown yard, he saw a friend from church. Not a best friend mind you, but a comfortable acquaintance who knew of this family’s situation. He was mowing their grass. He was never asked to help or even told of that week’s particular struggle, but he was familiar with their story and the weight this family carried on their shoulders. So, he brought over his lawn mower and did what he could. Not necessarily a grand gesture, but one that brought tears to this father’s eyes. It was one less worry on his list, taken away by a friend who had no idea what it was like to walk in his shoes. But this simple favor showed he wanted to try.

Our days are often full, the calendar sometimes resembling a crowded reservation list in a newly popular restaurant. Every therapist appointment is worth it, and most doctor’s appointments are greeted with news of good progress. But life with any child is busy, and when you add parents with two full-time jobs AND a special need it can sometimes feel like there is no room for those daily tasks that keep a household running.

This morning we discovered that our new neighbor, who we’ve only met a few times, cut our grass last night. He may or may not know that Lila has Down Syndrome, he’s only met her a few times and for a few minutes. But last night, we pushed Lila in her favorite swing for a few extra minutes before bedtime while he mowed his own lawn next door. We waved to him but didn’t stop to chat. And sometime after that, he decided to take an extra half hour and do us a favor.

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Now maybe to him, it was just too frustrating to see our somewhat overgrown lawn any longer. Maybe he didn’t like how it made his property look. But regardless, this simple gesture made us both smile and be very thankful for one less task on the list of things that need our attention.

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It made me want to pass it on, to do something for a family that might need an extra moment to relax, or even to swing. What one small thing can you do today, to give someone a story they will tell for years to come about a simple act of generosity that left a big impression?

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6 responses »

  1. I passed my neighbors house recently and her trashbins were scattered at the end of the driveway. I had my boys jump out of the car and bring them up to her house just as she was coming out the front door. She gushed about it for days. Such simple acts can bring so much joy.

  2. Thank you for that thoughtful post. It really makes a BIG difference. I know that I have been the recipient of a few of those little acts of kindness and what the giver didnt realize was that it made a huge impact on my day. Love your blog, you always make me smile and actually while me and my kids were watching the video of your princess dancing, the boys asked me for a few days if baby Lila could come over and play with their baby sister Caroline. It was pretty darn cute! Keep up the wonderful work and I look forward to reading your adventures!

  3. What a gift to run into you, Charlie & Lila at the market last Sunday. I am thankful that Charlie recognized me. One downside of my job is that I don’t usually see our patients after they are discharged from the hospital. I LOVED seeing Lila! She is a true beauty!! You two are doing a fantastic job with her….it was obvious by the big, sweet grin on her face!

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