From “What the frak?!” to Awesome – Paying it Forward

Friday’s “What the frak…?” moment (WTFM) is brought to you by………. When the world makes you say... "What the frak?!"

When a stranger saves you from your evil driver’s license number:  When I first learned to drive, we used our social security numbers. Now your driver’s license gets its own special number which I can never remember more than three digits of. I learned this number is required at most stores to write a check…

* * *

Three weeks ago something amazing happened to me.

But first, I had yet another “What the frak?!” moment.

It was an atypical day—my six-year-old boy and three-year-old girl home for spring break.

My son’s sneakers were disintegrating and my daughter hadn’t had a pair of sandals that fit in over a year (and living in Texas, you find you really need a pair of comfortable sandals).

I therefore took both children to a place I’d previously avoided for the last year: The Mall. I knew it had a shoe store that carried the shoes I needed in their sizes (for some reason the stores never have my son’s size in stock) for a nice overinflated price.

I set expectations of “no bouncy place, no train ride, but if you’re good, we will have a special snack” and it worked like charm.

We purchased shoes. The spent forty-five minutes climbing the coin-operated vehicles (without spending a dime). We enjoyed a rare pretzel treat and a shake.

Free fun at the mall.

I have a the Tackler in this thing before he was a year. It made me a bit nostalgic.

We even made it in and out of the Disney Store in a hour WITHOUT BUYING anything. Or a single tantrum.

We passed a clown making balloon characters on our way out and as a reward for continued good behavior, they each got one.

Then it was to Olive Garden for dinner—a place we hadn’t been in years. It was close and my children will generally eat Italian. My husband met us there and all was going well.

Afterwards I paid the bill while he split home with the kids who needed to get to bed.

I, however, went to the grocery store.

What unfolded was a “what the frak?!” moment that twisted into one of the most inspiring. 

When a stranger's kindness makes you pay it forward.

How a “what the frak” moment led to one of the most inspiring…

Or if that was too hard to read:Pay It Foward - A thank you.

Thank you, Donna, for turning my “what the frak?!” moment into something positive.

I hope proves to be contagious.

***Have you ever done something and told someone to “pay it forward”? Please share if you have or if someone has done so to you. And if you haven’t, now is your chance to start! Go perform a random act of kindness!

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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9 Responses to From “What the frak?!” to Awesome – Paying it Forward

  1. Nice work Kelly! its nice to see it actually works sometimes

  2. Oh Kelly! That is awesome! And you know what else is awesome? That you got it up. (If you know what I mean!) 😉

  3. I was driving back from New York and stopped to re-fill my tank. Inside was a mother buying milk and snacks for two very unhappy children. She went to pay with a WIC debit – only the convenience store didn’t accept WIC cards . . . I picked up the $12.71, saying, simply “just do something nice”

    My kids never, ever believe me when I say that I don’t have coins at the coin-operated rides at the mall. Ever.

    • I really don’t carry much cash and almost no change with me, so in my case it is true. I have a harder time keeping them away from the merry-go-round and the bounce house area also located in the mall. I think the biggest thing is precedent–I have NEVER paid for the coin rides in this area. They are the type that always look fun, but are so short and barely move that when you ride as kid you’re sort of like, “That’s it?” and they see other kids do it enough they recognize that.

      Love that you did that. I haven’t seen the perfect monetary pay it forward moment since this happened, we don’t actually pay at our toll booths (only via mail), and I don’t buy coffee, but I am trying to be nicer in traffic while waiting.for a moment like mine and yours to pop up.

  4. What a great story. And yes, it is always nice to be reminded that good people are out there! I’ve heard so many stories about people paying for the order of the car behind them in a drivethru and I’ve been wanting to do that. This inspired me to finally DO it! 🙂

  5. We really do live in a world with good people and Donna sure is one of them . Thank you for sharing. This made my heart happy today.

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