Unexpected encouragement

Picture me sitting in McDonald's one fine day in between an appointment and errands. The morning too rushed to feed the kids a decent breakfast, and the bagel I placed in each of their hands as we walked out the door proving to be utterly inadequate to sustain them until we returned home.

So there we are, sitting but rushed. Or at least I was feeling rushed. The baby bounced up and down in her high chair, eating one cheerio then dropping the next one on the floor. A habit she picked up at home for she so delights in the watching the dog scarf up the shared bounty. My son wiggled; my oldest read me the jokes on the back of her McDonald's bag. I was only half paying attention while I made lists in my mind and wondered if there was anything I could put off until later in the week.

I noticed my two year old was playing peek-a-boo with an older gentleman seated near us and I watched for a moment, wondering whether I should intervene. He was alone and seemed to be genuinely enjoying the game, so I left it. I noticed he was busy folding something, but paid no more attention as I helped the children clean their places.

As Bear took the tray to the trash can and Mouse wiped the table with a napkin, the man came over to show the children the bird he had just made.

He pulled the tail to make the wings flap and said,
May you always fly as high as your dreams.
Then he handed the bird to me and left, saying,
Thank you for being a wonderful mother.
I wasn't feeling like all that wonderful of a mother. And I realized how the smallest of things can brighten a day, regardless of what stress you feel.

Or maybe it is just something with older people and McDonald's.