the kindness of strangers 

Unless we’re at Costco with the awesome shopping carts just meant for twin littles, shopping sans another adult means I push a stroller and pull a cart. 

As you might imagine, this is a bit of a spectacle. If I’m planning ahead for eating/naps (and I’m usually not) I have to account for at least an extra 10-15 minutes of chatting during our regular shopping trip because people just can’t help but want to learn more about our little caravan.

“Are they twins?” Sure are.

“Identical?” Nope.

“Do you have a history of twins in your family?”  Also, no. 

“They sure are cute!” Thanks! I think so, too!

“You have your hands full!!” Yes, yes I do.

  

…and so on and so forth. This the conversation I have numerous times on each outing with my littles. I’m sure other twin parents get sick of it, but I’m not there yet.  I’m fascinated by the fascination with twins. It’s something that never was in me prior to finding out about my own but now I love encountering other parents of twins. Even moreso I love encountering other twins. The multiples really come out of the woodwork when you have your own set, that’s for sure.

But what really gets me every time I take my boys shopping, is how freaking helpful people are. Madison is notoriously pretty friendly. We wave when someone lets us go ahead in traffic. Heck, we let people go ahead in traffic- isn’t that friendly enough?? We smile when meeting strangers on the street. And apparently, we hold doors and offer grocery help when brave moms decide to do some serious grocery store/Target damage with two littles in tow.

Maybe it’s just because I’m still a rookie and my amateurish cart pulling/stroller pushing is evident, but DANG!! People are nice when you have twins! 

  
No automatic doors? Not to worry, someone will hold them for you.

Having trouble rounding the corner? Don’t sweat it, the people coming at you will get wayyyy out of the way for you. Then come back and chat for a bit.

One twins decides to have a bit of a meltdown? The sweet old lady in aisle seven knows just how to calm him down. 

Thought you could get out of the cheese aisle quickly, right? Nope. The woman stocking the coolers is a twin. The retired couple studying the feta thinks your twins just have to be the same age as their grandson, meaning they know exactly how to make them smile. Oh, and the lady buying the Pillsbury  crescent rolls swears they have the bluest eyes she’s ever seen!

You hear the store manager call an additional cashier to checkout lane five. You don’t want to be that girl so you wait patiently behind three other people when all you really want to do is dart over to lane five before the cashier even turns on the light. Oh, but don’t you worry because the kind man in front of you gently says, “why don’t you go ahead?”  and waves you along to checkout lane five. 

You later learn that his twins are now twenty-one, yet he remembers ten months like it was yesterday. You pretend not to hear the longing in his voice. You pretend that you didn’t hear his whole body scream, “It goes so fast! They grow so quickly! Don’t blink or you’ll miss it! You are so darn lucky!!” 

Mostly because he didn’t want you to hear that part. He wanted you to see the eye roll when you told him their age. He wanted you to hear, “Oh gosh, you’re in for it. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Hope you have a good hookup for covering grey hair!” (Btw. I do. She who gaveth the grey, covereth the grey.)

And lastly, while en route to your vehicle, pushing a stroller of chatty twins and pulling a cart filled to the brim with groceries, a white-haired gentleman calls, “You got it alright?”

Assuredly you call back, “I’m good, thanks!”

And I am. I am so good. Because people are kind. In a world full of so much hatred and news that makes you never want to turn on your tv again, people are kind. When politics and religion breed wars and loathing, people are kind. When really unfair things happen to really good humans, people are kind.

And if you’re lucky like me you don’t have to look far to find that kindness. And you damn sure don’t take it for granted.

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