We awoke to a scraping noise Sunday morning. To our surprise we saw a couple of girls on our sidewalk stuffing leaves back into our paper leaf bags. A vandal decided it would be neat to empty out all 7 of our large full bags of leaves overnight.
It was our neighbour across the street's daughter (B) and friend (who slept over) who were busy fixing the wrong doing.
D flew out of bed and put some clothes on to head outside. They were all done by that point. We were so touched by the thought and act of kindness D asked if it would be OK if he paid them. Their reactions were priceless -- Complete surprise. That said it all.
A few minutes later, B came knocking wanting to return some money as we paid them too much. D told her we didn't and that we appreciated their willingness to help so much we would not be taking any money back. And D trying to be "smart", told her to just keep it and not tell her parents...To which she replied she could not do that!
I was upstairs getting ready for the day and when he told me that, I told him you cannot say things like that! You have just told her to lie to her parents! This is not an adult you are talking to. Kids aren't going to get it as a joke. So off I went across the street to thank B myself and to tell her parents what a great job they are doing.
Turns out my neighbour have had a number of rough incidences recently including a car accident, job transfer to a neighbouring city requiring a long daily commute and a death in the family. Also turned out they have had a number of Halloween decorations stolen over the years.
B and I discussed how often people who do such things may not know what it means to own a home, pay for it for a long time, take pride in it thus not be able to empathize with what it feels to wake up one morning to find a deliberate mess. We revisited the morning payment thing after I thanked her again and suggested she donate what she felt the overpayment portion was to a cause that was meaningful. She liked the idea.
Goes to show you just how human our collective experiences are despite appearances and the happy hellos you may hear from each other every week. This act of goodwill has brought us closer and I am real grateful for it.