A Squeaky Wheel


Jolly pram.


My feet hit the ground, falling in rhythm with the repetive screech of the pram wheel as I walked the short path to pick up my school children.

I walked fast, as I like to do. Just up ahead, I saw a small grandma with a neat white bob, strolling beside a happy looking girl wearing red and white check pants. If I wasn’t on such a get-to-school-and-back mission, I might have paused at the pair because they represented the joy you see in an illustrated children’s book.

As I neared, the little girl jumped close to her grandmother’s leg, hearing the (REEEK!) sound of the pram wheel behind her.

“It needs some oil,” I said in way of explanation as I came along side the duo. I felt I needed to apolgise for the terrible sound coming from the contraption.

“I’m sure it’s the last thing on your list of things to.” The grandmother gave me a kind smile.

I was rather surprised at her empathic response. I often brace for some sort of judgement.

“It’s not hard to do, but I just put up with it because it seems right down on the list of priorities right now.” I gave a short laugh.

“Of course! Yes, absolutely.”

I continued past the joyful pair and walked fast up the hill, my legs pumping hard.

“Who was that Mum?” It was the first time my son spoke since we left home. His question reflected the kind words the white-bobbed lady spoke, and I’m sure he wondered if she was a friend.

“Just a lady. Maybe walking to the school like we are. She was nice, wasn’t she?”

Such a short conversation. And in many ways, an unnecessary one. However, I can tell you, her true empathy, non-judgemental words and face of kindness, made a difference to my afternoon. There was no look of annoyance or cold silence. Just kindness. Pure, simple kindness.

When was the last time I said something unnecessary but kind?

When was the last time I smiled at a stranger?

When was the last time I exercised empathy for those around me?

When was the last time I lived joy, so obviously?

Someone’s Grandma probably wouldn’t think anything of the conversation, but right now I’m writing it on my blog. You never know who you may touch; just a few words can make someone’s day a little lighter.

Kindness is contagious.

And sometimes I am my own squeaky wheel…

Has a small kindness made a difference to your day?

Do you often expect judgement for you actions as a mum?

Other Confessions

The Things You Do For Your Kids

I Feel Crappy Today

Do You Argue In front of The Kids

Playing With Kids (a confession)

My Daughter Insulted Me, And it Made Me Happy

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  • Reply
    Alisha Luxford
    October 17, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Wonderful. I have goosebumps. I too remember a kind word from a stranger while I was breastfeeding my eldest son (quite uncomfortably). She really eased my mind and made my day. I wonder if I could make someone’s day today. Thanks for such a wonderful blog.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I often find myself apologising for things – ‘sorry they’re loud’ (when really, they’re just happy) – out of a reaction to possibly being judged (“Look at those unruly children”). But the world needs more kindness – something I need to try and impart upon others as I go about my day.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I think small kindnesses make everyone’s day! It costs us so little and yet can have a huge and lasting effect.

    Thanks for the reminder, Kel. Your squeaky wheel story will stay with me.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    I so agree, kindness is contagious. Soon writing a post about it with our neighbours. I feel lighter.

  • Reply
    Deb @ Home life simplified
    October 17, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Love this post. I have been making an effort this year not to just think kind thoughts, appreciate people but to let them know. Just a quick word to a helpful shop keeper or a comment to a school mum i notice has a new hairstyle, but I think we all like to hear something nice.

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