The simplest gestures of kindness can change someone’s day and it costs us nothing. It’s such a simple thing to be nice to someone. On that note, I’d like to thank the Spider-Man on his tricycle whose kind gesture made my day a few Saturdays ago.
I had just enjoyed a birthday breakfast with my dear friend at our favourite local diner. These breakfasts are special moments, because we make them so. We had a lot to catch up on, too. Our friendship is rooted in the respect and trust that what gets said over eggs and hash browns, stays there.
We kept our phones off the table and threw our cards on it, and got busy sorting out some of life’s mysteries, blessings and downright messes. It’s like therapy with someone who knows you, really knows you, and likes you anyway. Your crazy doesn’t scare them. Your opinions don’t offend them. And your vents are celebrated. There are no judgements, no false advice or promises of solutions. Neither of us have the answers. We know that. We’re just two friends admitting to the genuine imperfection of their authentic lives. Pass the ketchup.
When the table was cleared we decided to delay our return to reality with a little window shopping, so we ventured slowly up the main street to the place where we would part ways. I could feel the weight of my anxieties lifting off my shoulders with every step. I needed that quiet morning of friend time. Just us two. It was the best birthday present. Time. Unplugged and tuned in. Just five more minutes, please.
That’s when Spider-Man rode up to us on the sidewalk, in his red and black webbed ball cap with the Spider-Man eyes on the brim, and his matching red super hero T-shirt. He was pedaling up hill, which is no small feat, unless you are an awesome superhero on three wheels. Also, his was a tricycle with a guiding stick in the back, being steered by his father. Adorable. Spider-Man rode up and stopped right in front of me. I politely veered out of his path and gave him a smile. (Spider-Man, not the dad. You thought I was flirting, right? You know me so well.).
I stepped to one side, and Spider-Man cut me off again. It appeared he was playing a game with me but I didn’t know the rules. And that’s when he reached his closed hand up toward me. At first, I didn’t see what he was holding. All I saw was the wide smile on his perfectly sweet, toddler face. Charmed. Instantly. Then I noticed the tiny white flower with a yellow center and a short green stem. His father interjected, “He wants to give you a flower.”
Astonished, I reached down and accepted the gift. But this was no flower. It was a beam of kindness that radiated in that moment and continued to do so long into the day that followed. Spider-Man, satisfied that his mission was accomplished, peddled away without a word, but left me with a gift far greater than he knew.
I went home and pressed the flower in my favourite book, so I will remember the power of that moment. It was as simple as a smile and a flower. Super heroes exist among us and they can still save the day. Kindness exists. Hope can too. That was a good day.