A couple of years ago, shortly after the new year began, when Manchild was an only child and Squish was not yet a twinkle in our eyes or a gray hair on our heads, we made a trip to Home Depot. We were buying lumber to build a shelving unit inside one of our closets. And, us being the Heiselts, we were not going to bother anybody else with our problems — like not having a car, and living more than a mile from Home Depot, and being on a tight budget. So we took our BOB Ironman (we had a single at the time) and planned to pile it high with lumber and push it home while Manchild rode in the carrier on my back. Seemed like a decent plan at the time. Until we actually bought the lumber and started loading it on to the stroller. And then we watched as the tires got lower and lower with the added pressure of all that wood. We had not even managed to get all of it on there when we realized Plan A was a bad one and we didn’t have a Plan B.

So we stood in the corner trying to decide what to do. Make two trips? Carry some on our backs? (But with Manchild on one of them, that didn’t leave much room.) Should we splurge and rent a car from Home Depot? As we stood there debating the options, not really ready to let go of Plan A, a couple approached us.

“Do you need some help?”

“Oh, no, we’re fine. Don’t worry about us.”

“How are you going to get that home?”

“We’re trying to figure that out now. We’re not sure, but we can handle it.”

“We have a car. We can take you wherever you need to go.”

“Oh, really, you don’t have to do that. We’ll be fine. It’s not too far.”

“Well let us take you, then. That baby looks cold. Come on, it’s a new year. Let somebody help you out.”

And with that argument, all of our defenses came down. It’s a new year. Let somebody help you out.

They pulled their SUV around to the entrance and we loaded up our lumber, our stroller, and our baby. They drove us home, all the while talking about how it’s a new year, time to help people out, turn over a new leaf, be there for someone else.

I’m pretty sure I’m always going to think of that experience at this time of year. The year is changing, time to help somebody out.

I hope you all have a wonderful 2012, that you get to help lots of people, and that you let them help you out, too.

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