Tuesday, October 11, 2011

how dog poop made my day

I took the Littles for a jog today. Nothing long, probably not more than a mile and a half, with a stop at the park partway through. For them, it was all about the destination. For me, it was all about getting there.

I don't usually enjoy pushing the stroller. It interrupts my stride. It adds extra weight to the experience when usually just dragging myself along is plenty. And despite ample snacks for distraction, the space simply gets too small for siblings to sit quietly. For added difficulty, because I guess I like it like that way{or maybe because the dog just asks so nicely to come}, I tether the dog's leash around the stroller. But she often balks at the no-time-for-sniffing pace. I tell her to suck it up and just run.

But today was a particularly lovely day and the Littles were cooperating particularly well. I actually felt pretty strong, and if you overlook the fact that my pelvic floor seems to have stopped functioning the way it should (OMG), it was a great run.

The sun, the scent of fallen leaves, the perfect temperature...the whole thing was simply a sweet exhale (punctuated by some rapid inhales, of course, but those kept me alive). The kids had fun at the park, and pretty soon we started up the steep hill toward home. The dog chose this location to do her business, which was slightly irritating given the angle of incline and the weight of the stroller and the starting-to-bicker kids {and the consistency of her mess, but I won't go into that specific detail}. But then --

A man walking down the hill stopped and said since he was on his way to the park shelter he could take the bag and throw it away for me. It looks like you have your hands full already, he said.

Yes, yes I kind of do, I laughed. So I handed the bag to him with so much thanks.

But who does that? I mean, I've had folks offer to return my grocery cart for me or pause an extra moment to hold the door. But carry my dog's poop a half mile so I wouldn't have to deal with it? Now that's what I call a random act of kindness.

I shared this story with Eldest over her after-school snack because I thought she'd appreciate the weight of what this guy did for me. She understands the finer horrors of dog poop, having stepped in it on several occasions. Barefoot, once. I thought the story might make her laugh but instead it prompted her to tell me a story in return.

There was this one time on the playground when my friend fell in the wet mud and I was like 'oh no' and took off my jacket to help her dry off. 

Her tone wasn't all -- look what I did -- but more like -- I know what that means, random act of kindness. It absolutely made me smile. And then we laughed together about dog poop.

So today, even though the pretty sky ended up clouding over, I'm feeling especially warmfuzzy toward humanity. I mean, maybe we're not so bad as a species after all. All we need to do now is stop shouting at each other across the lines we've drawn and start carrying each other's dog poop. Stop shooting each other, even, and start wiping the mud off each other's faces.

Hey, it could happen, right? It starts right here.