As I loaded 5kg of pumpkin into the trolley on the weekend, Magoo questioned "wwhhyyy?" (as he does every time I make a purchase, give a look, make a turn, refuse a request, take a breath...)
I explained we were going to make soup for our three friends who'd had babies.
(Not all together. 3 families. 3 babies.)
"Wwhhyy make soop, Mum?"
With a gathering audience in the fruit and veg shop, I answered that it's sometimes tricky to make food when you have a new baby and it's nice if someone else can make you some.
"Wwwhyyy's it niIIce, Mum?"
Long pause as I contemplate that it's nice because they feel a little loved and thought of. It's also nice because I get to feel like a good person (whether I am or not!)
Do I go out of my way for others - for myself?
Do I want to make others feel good - or myself?
To be fair to this 'myself' character - I don't think I'm quite an evil being - so for the most part it's a genuine wish to make life a smidgen easier for a family, brighten a dark hour or show that I'm thinking of someone.
There's an element of recalling those early days of Magoo's life when sleep deprivation and health issues threatened to suck the 'home sweet' from this home. Then a friend would call, pop by, mail a card at just the right time. Days when friends and work colleagues showed up with a meal in hand and reduced me to a puddle of gratitude.
Pay it forward, me thinks.
Then there's definitely the truth that - being 'nice' feels 'nice'.
It makes me feel good to spread some love, cook a little meal, make a little soup, send a little card, offer a little lift, buy a little something, give a little time.
I'm no Mother Theresa and my cooking is far from husband thieving quality - but it's the gesture, I guess.
These days, there's also the added 'role model' factor. I want Magoo to feel that helping others is just what we do. That you don't hesitate to lend a hand or pitch in. Time giving to others is time well spent - and all that soft stuff!
It's a quality that drew me to Hubby and I love seing him embody this selflessness with Magoo in tow. Hubby doesn't think twice before dropping everything for a mate or giving a neighbour the privilege of his (in)experience. Fixing anybody's anything, chipping in and giving his two cents worth around the place!
I'm not suggesting we're special in any way. I've just admitted that some of my most selfless moments - are actually seflish moments. Plus, we get as good as we give!! We have the luxury of being surrounded by a bunch of people who have exactly the same mindset - and have been on the receiving end of more kindness than we can count. And it's 'nice'!
Why do you play nice?