1. To the grandma who sat next to me on my first solo flight with a baby, thank you. Thank you for smiling through the screams as we waited for the plane to be de-iced. We sat stationary and on the ground, but were still required to wear our seat belts, so I was absolutely helpless to meet Henry’s demands for a warm bottle. When I was sweaty and flustered and ready to cry myself because the whole plane was quiet except for his wails, you patted me on the arm and told me I was doing a good job. Thank you for the gift of understanding.
2. To the chatty grocery store employee in Edmonton who was the first person to tell me that you could freeze cheese, thank you. I can’t believe I didn’t know that, and I use this trick all of the time!
3. To the cashier at Macs on Whyte Ave who lent me a phone charger, thank you. My charger had broke, and I was young, stupid, and desperate to get the messages off my phone. When your store didn’t have the charger I needed, you could’ve just shrugged and said, “sorry.” But you let me take your own phone charger back to my apartment. Thank you for showing me the goodness inside of people during a time when I seriously doubted there was any (and I’m so sorry I ghosted you on meeting up for drinks to say thanks).
4. To the man who pulled over east of Edmonton when the ball bearing on my vehicle was legitimately on fire, and I was traveling alone, thank you. Thank you for helping me scoop snow out of the ditch to put it out. Thank you for not being condescending. Thank you for stopping, even though it meant missing a chunk of a Grey Cup game the Eskimos were playing in. You kept me from panicking, and made sure I was safe.
5. To the teenage Party City employee who gifted Henry a free balloon one afternoon when we stopped to pick up plates and napkins for my mom’s birthday party, thank you. You completely made his day, and ours!
6. To the guy who bought my giant coffee pumped full of french vanilla creamer at Winks one morning when I was headed for an early shift at the pool after a late night spent celebrating my birthday, thank you. You made the headache slightly more bearable, and made me feel it was okay to be young and irresponsible once in a while. I’ve paid it forward to others in coffees ten-fold since.