Thursday, August 1, 2019

Getting High on Good Deeds

Scrolling through social media a few weeks ago, I stumbled onto a post about a 6-year-old boy named Bentlee who loves trucks.  Bentlee has special needs, and the poor little dude recently broke his femur and had to have rods put into his leg.  But his mother wasn't creating a "Go Fund Me," she wasn't organizing a "meal train" to give her more time to take care of her other three children... she was asking for photos of trucks.

Apparently Bentlee LOVES semis (he calls him "beep beeps") and his mom thought that getting photos of trucks in the mail (and then hanging them up on the wall) would lift his spirits.  

I'll admit, lots of times I scroll on by stories like this one ... but this time I wanted to do something.

My daughter and I spent an evening putting together a package for Bentlee.  She got out her markers and created a super-colorful semi picture for him.  I printed a photo of my husband's truck, and a photo of a truck belonging to a friend of ours.  My daughter carefully selected about 15 of her "Super Truck Collector Cards" that she thought Bentlee might like.  We each wrote him a letter, and then we mailed it off.  

And I felt great.

This kid lives about 170 miles south of my family, and I will never meet him. I don't expect that he is going to send us a letter back, or that I'll even hear if he liked our package of stuff. But it doesn't matter.  That feeling of doing something nice for someone else was exhilarating.  And this isn't the first time I've felt it.

About a year ago, I convinced my "pack-rat" daughter that the play kitchen set in her room was just taking up space.  After unsuccessfully attempting to give it to a couple of different people I know in real life, I decided to just give it away for free on Facebook.  The set wasn't in bad shape, but my daughter had covered it in stickers that I couldn't peel off.

The woman who replied to my post saying she wanted it told me that her husband could meet me that same afternoon in a public parking lot across town.  SOLD.  I decided at the last minute to throw in a basket of fake food and play dishes/tea set stuff.  When the man arrived, he couldn't stop smiling.

"Oh my gosh!  This is awesome!  And it's bigger than I thought.  And all this food! Are you sure you don't want any money for this?!?!"

I laughed and said no.  We squeezed everything into the back of his car as he told me how much his daughter was going to love it.  Then he thanked me one final time and drove away.

Then I was the one who couldn't stop smiling.

Sometimes life feels really hard.  But somedays are all about trucks or kitchen sets and getting high on doing good deeds.  You know, as weird as it sounds... I think I'll try to give things to strangers more often.  

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