The kindness of strangers

Today is Blog Action Day and unfortunately I don't have the energy to get serious writing about an environmental issue. When I've got so much else on my mind (Asher's Mundan, parental birthdays, moving house, not to mention the election) I don't have anything left over for the bigger issues (but please, reduce, reuse and recycle while thinking globally and acting locally) so I want to take this chance to thank some people that I've been meaning to thank for ages now.

'Trail angels' are those who help people when they are walking a trail. This help is unexpected but greatly needed and I believe the consensus is that 'you know one when you meet one'. I heard the term first referring to the Papua New Guinean 'Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels' who helped Australian soldiers on the Kakoda Trail during WWII but I have since learned that long distance hikers often refer to unexpected helpers as trail angels (Google yields results). Since I've been travelling on public transport with Asher I've met my fair share of Public Transport Angels.

Today was a perfect example - on my way into the city to meet Bindy for coffee with a fairly grouchy and recalcitrant child a guy helped me lift the stroller onto the bus. It took him a few seconds and not so much physical effort but it saved me getting Asher out of the stroller and convincing him to stand and hold onto me while I packed up and then carried toddler, bag and stroller onto the bus. Help on and off the bus is great, and I don't think people realise how grateful I am when it happens but I've also had people entertain Asher when he and I are both tired and over it, a friendly but scary looking guy with tattoos help me carry the pram down flights of steps when the lifts were out of order at Central Station and on one notable occasion I've two very kind Islander women help me get Asher in the sling when he was very sick and I was debating getting off the bus as we passed Royal North Shore Hospital (they did fret about him being cold and tried to get me to put more clothes on him).

So next time you see someone struggling with a pram or hear a child complaining loudly on public transport instead of silently hoping that they will get out of your way and keep quiet please, if you can, offer your commiserations and ask the parent or carer what you can do to help - you may just make someone's day.

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