Now that Christmas and New Year’s festivities are finished, most of us just want to move on to spring. Me too, but may I share my favorite memory from this past holiday season? It has to do with a certain misfit reindeer …
For some reason, for the entire months of November and December, my 4-year-old son was infatuated with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I’d hear him singing the Rudolph song from the back of the minivan, he’d spot a Rudolph book 10 aisles away at Walmart, and the Rudolph stick-horse for sale at the grocery store almost sent him over the edge.
The kid had a one-track mind.
In the past, my kids have fixated on things like SpongeBob, so this Rudolph thing was certainly a step up in my book. But the best upshot from this little love affair was the fact that we got to watch the movie at least once a day for an entire month.
Do you remember Burl Ives as the singing snowman and the stop-motion animation that must have been cutting edge in 1964? I got to experience a piece of my childhood through the eyes of my own child, and it made the whole holiday so much sweeter.
Angela McKibben of Fargo went through a similar experience with her son, only for him, it was Harry Potter fan-ism, and he picked up a few fans of his own along the way.
“My 10-year-old son was excited to hear that the Harry Potter movies were going to be playing at Marcus Theatres every Wednesday night starting in October. We decided that we would go to all eight movies, so my son, my boyfriend and I started a weekly Wednesday night tradition.
“Every Wednesday we sat in the same spot, ate the same snacks and made a ton of memories. Each night we would drive home and talk about the movie.
“The last night of the series was Nov. 19. The lights came on, and we were getting ready to leave when two young women approached my boyfriend and said, ‘I know this is a little weird, but we wanted your little boy to have this.’ They handed him a card. The women had also been at each Wednesday night movie and sat near us in the theater.
“They told us that they had enjoyed watching my son and looked forward to seeing him each week. I’m sure they were talking about the little things my son was doing, like conducting the orchestra from his seat, quoting the movie, getting excited and telling us how he would make a good wizard, and using his cup to make fake eyelashes.
“We were so touched. We thanked them and left. In the car, my son read the outside of the card. It said, ‘To: the boy who watched.’ The card was filled with amazing words from these two women telling him how they have enjoyed his comments and quips during the movies the past eight weeks, and how they so looked forward to seeing him on Wednesday nights. They told him they were the first generation of Harry Potter watchers and so enjoyed watching the second generation enjoy the movies as much as they did.
“The ending words in their card made my son smile the most. They stated that he was a wonderful young man and felt that he needed to hear that, because young people don’t hear that enough. The card ended with them telling him they knew he was going to grow up to be an amazing man. Tucked inside was a $20 gift card to Marcus Cinema.
“It was such a kind gesture that totally blew us away. I just wanted to share my random act of kindness that these two young women made on a 10-year-old boy who watched.”
There is something special about reliving fond memories through the eyes of a child and something extra special about the adults who use kindness to help create new memories along the way.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at email@example.com. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.
Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is a writer, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Ohio University’s Men’s Head Basketball Coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday.