Chivalry in the rain

We just had a whopper of a storm.  Blizzards in the mountains, mudslides, major flooding, and some of the coldest temperatures Beirut has seen in years.  It was so bad that the minister of education canceled school for three days!

Things weren’t terrible in our neighborhood.  Super cold (so cold that as I was mixing up some batter for cornbread last night, it actually froze while I was stirring it), and our streets turned into mini-rivers.  This is pretty common for when it rains, so we just put on our jackets and rain boots and continue on with life as usual.

On Tuesday evening I was heading home from work and I had both girls with me because Caleb had meetings and wasn’t free to watch them.  It was pouring on us, but I had Ruby in the wrap, Isla by the hand and an umbrella covering most of us.  :)

Just a few minutes after we started walking, a gentleman approached us and asked if he could help carry Isla.  I told him, “it’s okay,” which I meant as saying she could walk on her own, but he took it as “it’s okay, you can carry her,” and picked her up and started walking.  We got to the point where our paths should have diverged, but instead, he insisted on carrying her the entire way to our front door!

I can’t imagine something like this happening in the States.  Not that people aren’t helpful there, but grown men just can’t pick up little girls without someone getting nervous, but here that just isn’t the case.  Not that I am not uncomfortable sometimes with the hugs my girls get from strange boys, but this man was nothing but kind and helpful.  Isla cried at first (because she is not a fan of strangers) but he talked to sweetly to her about the weather, her boots and his umbrella that she didn’t even mind being carried.

I thanked him profusely when we arrived at home, offered him something hot to drink (which he of course declined), and he went on his way….getting wherever he was going later and wetter than he should have been, but leaving behind a very grateful mama and a little girl who learned a valuable lesson about the kindness of strangers.

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