How many times have you been stuck in the car with a sleeping child while wishing you could run errands, get something (anything) accomplished, or go into a store or restaurant while he or she napped? In my case, it’s almost daily.
Although I’m not proud of it, I have had my fair share of drive through fast food over the last few months. This is due to the fact that many of my kids’ naps involve me driving in circles for hours while they snooze in the back seat. During these hours of driving aimlessly, I have had a lot of time to think about a whole lot of nothing such as why aren’t there any drive through pizza joints or Chinese food places?
This brings me to my first experiment in my Kindness of Strangers series: Pizza Delivery to My Car.
It was lunchtime and we were out and about. My 3 year old wanted pizza for lunch and we were headed to get some when my baby daughter fell asleep in the car earlier than expected. Since neither of my children transfer well, I couldn’t bring the car seat in to the pizza place and expect her to remain asleep. I was trying to come up with a plan. My first idea involved picking up my husband at work, driving him to the pizza place, getting him to buy a slice for my son, and having a picnic in the parking lot before returning him to his office. Somehow, I didn’t think that would go over very well. The next plan involved driving home and ordering pizza to be delivered to the house, but for only two slices, it just didn’t seem like the best choice (and it probably would have taken too long). As I was working on my next crazy idea, I looked in the rear view mirror to discover that my son was now sleeping too. Figures.
Although his nap bought me some time, I was now starving and knew that I would not be able to wait the two hours or so until they woke up to first have lunch. And of course, I now had pizza on the brain, so that was all I wanted to eat. But, other than leaving my kids unattended in the car (which I would never do), the words that kept running through my head were “What’s a girl gotta do to get a slice around here?”
I remembered that the pizza place close to my husband’s office has a big, glass front and there is a loading zone right in front. I thought. I pondered. I wondered. I pulled in.
I took out my smart phone and looked up their phone number. I called.
“Hi!” I said to the gentleman in the white t-shirt and apron at the other end of the phone. “I’m right outside of your restaurant in the gray SUV.” I waved and noticed the inquisitive look on his face. “My kids are both sound asleep in the car and, since I can’t leave them alone, I was wondering if it might be possible to get two slices delivered to my car.”
“Uh… okay. I guess so,” he replied, and I watched as our two pieces got placed in the oven to be warmed up.
I scrambled around looking for enough spare change to be able to pay him in cash. I figured it wasn’t quite fair to make him run back and forth just to swipe my credit card. When my food was ready, I watched him gather napkins, my slices, some plates, and plastic utensils. I planned on meeting him half-way, but of course, dropped some of the coins on the floor of the car as he made his way towards my car. I picked up the coins and found him right next to the driver’s side window. I rolled my window down, took the food, and handed him money for the pizza plus whatever extra I had (it wasn’t much, unfortunately) as a tip.
I thanked him profusely, waved goodbye to him once he was back behind the counter, saw him smile and realize that he did a good thing, and drove off with the smell of cheesy goodness filling the car.
Many, many thanks to the kindness of this stranger.