An Open Letter to the Man at Wawa


Thank you.

Thank you for allowing me to be the recipient of your act of kindness.

You didn’t have to offer to buy our bottle of water and 3 ridiculous juices with the character heads but you did. Thank you for being respectful when you asked if you could do something nice for me.

I’m sorry that I didn’t ask your name. But that won’t keep me from remembering you or your generous nature.

In fact, I thought about you the rest of the day.

Did you do this often or was it random?

I reflected on the times my own kids and I offered acts of kindness.

Did others feel this same joy?

I hoped so.

How is it that you came to learn to ask permission even for doing something nice for another? How do I ensure my own children respect even this kind of boundary of others? 

If I had to guess, you were motivated by thoughts like…

Oh, that mother has her hands full. I bet she rarely does a thing for herself.”

But what you didn’t know…

…was that I was charged with keeping my three kids out of the house because there was a leak in the kitchen that was going EVERYWHERE, and daddy needed to figure out what was going on.

What you didn’t know was that after hours at the Science Museum, we came home to a gutted kitchen because of a hole in a pipe. The water had soaked through layers of the floor. 

Your act of kindness kept me from the red-faced frustration…

…the frustration that very easily could’ve crept in and ruined our Sunday, one of two days we get to spend together each week, which makes it precious.

It allowed me to keep perspective and roll with it.

It allowed me to trust that everything was going to be okay — which is hard to do as a momma of 3 that is always calculating timings and risks and the hangry-meter every. single. second.

This gave me the perfect opportunity to talk about “paying it forward” and the types of personal boundaries that we needed to be mindful of.

Although I’m sure you could see the gratitude on my face and in my words, I hope you also know that it was so much more than that.

Thank you for reminding me to be kind and patient with myself. 


A worn out momma with a grateful heart (and an empty kitchen!)