In a society that often takes things and situations for granted, it's so nice to have an encounter with a goodhearted person.
I recently had a daycare spot open up. I received a call from a woman last Sunday looking for immediate care for her 5 month old son. We arranged to meet the following day.
She ("K") arrived at my house Monday afternoon during the chaos of 2 of my families leaving. Once the families left, I asked "K" about her daycare needs (like hours, days, etc). She said "well, I probably should have mentioned it yesterday..." she went on to tell me that her hours are mixed and that she works until 7 pm some days. My daycare hours are 7 am to 5:30 pm. I explained that unfortunately we would not be a good fit due to the need of late hours.
I continued oohing and ahhing over cute baby "C" until I realized how upset this mom was. I could tell she was trying her best to not cry. At that point I knew I needed (and wanted) to help her somehow so I told her that I could make it work temporally. I would watch "C" and she would continue to search for a daycare that fit her needs.
Her situation is a little different. Her husband works out of town during the week. "C" had never been to a daycare because his grandma had been watching him. But grandma accepted a position somewhere else and was no longer able to help.
"C" started the next day. He arrived at 7:30 and seemed quite happy. After about an hour he did a 180 and remained upset the rest of day. He barely ate, didn't want to sleep, didn't want to play. It was one hell of a bad day (from him and me). Nothing I did seemed to soothe him. I really questioned my decision to help. The following days weren't as bad but they weren't very pleasant.
Yesterday "K" told me that she had found another daycare and would be starting next week. As much as I enjoy helping others, I was pretty relieved to hear this.
Today "K" called me to say that she was given the day off so she and "C" would stop by later to pay me and say goodbye. When she stopped by she brought me a thank you card and a gift certificate to a local steakhouse.
This was very thoughtful of her. It's a good feeling to do the right thing and have someone be very thankful for it.