This morning my 2-year-old, Annie, and I made a quick Kroger run to get a few last-minute items needed for Thanksgiving prep. Naturally it was a complete madhouse, but thanks to a yogurt pouch that kept Annie more than occupied we made our way through the store relatively quickly and to the bustling self-checkout line. We waited our turn, I smiled at the lady checking out next to us as I scanned our items, and then I put my chip card in the card reader.
NOT AUTHORIZED flashed at me.
Not sure what the problem was, I tried again, and again, and again. Same message. Annie started to get antsy – “Mama! Let’s go!” – and I started to get frustrated but felt confident the nice Kroger worker who came over to help us could fix it. She told us it had been acting up all morning and to try again. I did – same message. I tried to check our bank account on our app but thank you, technology, it was down. I didn’t have any other form of payment and only a little cash.
A little frazzled at this point, I called my husband at work to help but the issue remained and the people started to line up behind us. It was then the Kroger worker came over and told me no need to pay – the lady who had checked out beside me had seen I was having some trouble and paid for our bag of groceries. She didn’t want us to know so she slipped out. Being eight months pregnant, I burst into tears, incredibly touched by the generous stranger’s act of kindness. The Kroger lady patted my shoulder and told me, “I know, honey, see? There are kind people in this world – isn’t it wonderful?”
I rushed out with Annie still in the cart as I pushed back happy tears, searching for the kind stranger who paid for our bag of groceries. She was gone, but her act of kindness towards this frazzled, pregnant mama with her busy toddler made my entire week, and reminded me of what this season is all about.
So to the sweet lady at Kroger who paid for my bag of groceries and my toddler’s yogurt pouch this morning – THANK YOU. You were a heaven-sent opportunity to show my daughter there is so much kindness in this world and truly so much to be thankful for. Thank you for helping my daughter see we're never alone, and we're all more alike than we are different.