Tuesday, March 6, 2012
SLICE 6- THE KINDNESS OF A STRANGER
The envelope is is on the corner of the dining room table, mixed in with about a dozen other pieces of junk mail. A flyer from Allegra's, a neighborhood pizza place. I start to toss it. But then, because the envelope is hand-written, I open it. A menu flutters out, but so do two more pieces of paper. The first is a note. Handwritten. From a man named Tony, the owner of Allegra's.
A few months ago, a Denver Post reporter wrote an article about my boys. The article told the story of our family-- how the boys had been in foster care, how I had met and adopted them, the road we had travelled since then. It made life with three teenagers sound a lot more Beaver Cleaverish, or Walton-esque than it actually is, but it was still really nice, and the photographer took gorgeous pictures of my very handsome sons.
Tony read the Denver Post article. He was writing to thank me for my hard work with the boys. He enclosed a gift certificate, enough to purchase dinner one night. I was blown away by his kindness. I could not believe that someone we had never met would take the time to write a note, then track us down. Or that in these very difficult economic times, a small business owner would donate a gift certificate to a complete stranger. His kindness made me cry. I put the gift certificate in a drawer in the dining room, saving it for a night when I really "needed" it.
Tonight is that night.
We start our state tests today. My fourth graders have worked really, really hard. And I'm so proud of them. Thrilled with their growth. But they are children of poverty. English language learners. And the state tests are always, umm, let's just say interesting.
And Thursday is the district job fair. My school is closing. I am a single mom. With two kids going to college. I have to find a new job. And I'm terrified.
Today is also my birthday. My family lives two hours away. We celebrated last weekend. My friends are celebrating on the 17th. I have a football board meeting tonight. It will be just another day.
Except for one thing.
Tonight, thanks to the kindness of a stranger, we are having pizza.
Thank you, Tony.