Saturday, February 05, 2011

Doing It Right

I took Ava to basketball practice yesterday. Church gym where they only allow water inside. As in water, nothing added, nothing extra, nothing else. I was aware of the policy, Gwen had mentioned it before, but left to my own devices and rushing to get out of the house and get there on time I haphazardly put some POM juice into the plastic bottle to flavor the water and ice.

When we got to the gymnasium door, an older security guard stopped us, pointed at the plastic container (now tinted red) and served as a physical reminder of the rule.

"Sorry, can't bring that inside," he said. "You can leave it here on the table."

I didn't protest, somewhere in the deeper recesses of my mind the message he was delivering had already taken up residence. I guess my face must have registered some distress over the fact that my 8-year-old was now going to have to run around in a sweaty room for an hour without a drink, as a result of my mistake, because he immediately said, "Hold on, I can give you some water to bring in."

He moved to a nearby utility closet, reached in and produced a bottle of Poland Spring. I was amazed, and appreciative, and struck by the fact that a 30-cent bottle of water and desire to think ahead and anticipate the moment completely transformed it. A small thing, with a big impact.

They had no obligation to provide us that water, I knew the policy and should have remembered it. This was completely on me, reminding me of the restriction and giving me a place outside the gym to hold our contraband beverage was all they had to do, more than they had to do and - in the current economic environment - all anyone could expect.

But somewhere, at some point, someone decided that given the intractable non-water beverage ban, maybe it might be a good idea to have some water hanging around for those who forgot, to turn a negative stop sign into a kinder and gentler reminder that will not soon be forgotten. It definitely had that impact on me.

(Look, Ma, I still know how to push the "publish" button. And I wasn't so sure. Success!)


Blogger Tamara said...

I like to hear stories about people who still have hearts and concern for their fellow man. :-)

11:39 AM  
Anonymous memorial website said...

Lovely story, thank you

7:43 AM  

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