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this is not a story of pandas, nor children, nor what so much pertains to our kids - just a story of kindness I observed and wanted to share. . . recently, on vacation, in a busy resort town, we were in a very busy ice cream shop. they boast of their 40 flavors and list them in multiple locations inside and outside the shop. as we were deciding, an older man with an obvious neurological problem stumbled into the shop. he was by himself. he went up to the young, very beautiful girl and asked, "what flavors of ice cream do you have?". (granted, he had some obvious problem so it is different from our kids that are often just seen as being unreasonable or bratty, but I still found it to relate) she pleasantly choked a laugh and said they have 40 different kinds, showed him the signs and the cards on the cases. I don't know if he couldn't read or it was too much trouble or what, but he said, "okay, i'll take a small vanilla". she served him with a very pleasant attitude. the price was $3 and some change. he gave her 3 dollar bills and then very much struggled with making the change. she very patiently discussed with him that he could give her another dollar bill and she could get it that way. she was so very nice and patient with him. I complimented her on it and at first I don't think she understood what I meant. she then said, 'you know -- I have people in my family. . . he's no different than anyone else.' when we left the shop I saw him sitting and eating it with a woman. I was surprised to see that he was with someone but had been in the shop by himself. I don't know if it was some type of independence task or if he does things like that all the time. she wouldn't really have any idea the girl in the shop was so pleasant and helpful. it just touched me because I think it is so easy for us to think we have to be so on the ball and we are the only ones who are looking out for our kids (and for the most part, I do think we are) but then there are some other times, where people you don't even know in rather insignificant situations, can be helpful. it just kind of gave me hope that things won't always be so difficult for our kids.