.

Special: The conversion of ordinary to extraordinary.

Special: Suprassing what is common/usual. Exceptional. Regarded with affection or admiration. Extra. My new motto: Never miss an opportunity to make someone feel special.

The day after the skylanern festival (www.starsofhopefestival.com), we began sorting through the money. Everything was dumped onto the middle of the carpet.

20 Eisenhower silver dollars slid onto the floor. I was suprised and delighted. I think there is something magical about a Eisenhower dollar coin. I wondered who had given them to us. They were all bicentennial dated silver dollars.

What a neat way to pay for a skylantern!

Next was to sort the bills. Dollars in one pile, fives, tens.. Wait! $2 dollar bills! Ten of them!

Another unsual, unexpected delight. My heart was tickled.

The experience felt special. Someone took the time to be creative and giving.

The day of the skylantern festival was a very busy one. My energy was high and there were last minute details to iron out. The doorbell rang and the UPS man handed me a package.

Ryan and I took it to the kitchen table to open. Inside were wrapped presents for Ryan, 30 long stick lighters, and 100 glow bracelets. They were sent by a dear, sweet man named Kurtis. He knew I was in search of the lighters and surprised us with the package. Ryan tore through his presents of legos, books, and more. I was deeply touched by the generous, spontaneous consideration. Kurtis made us feel very special and set the tone for a wonderful day.

About 2 months ago, I took my son to the Fun Center in Sugar Grove. He likes the bumper boats and the go karts. We pair up in both vehicles.

As we finished our go kart race, he was asking to drive. I explained he had to be much older to drive alone in a go kart. 

The man working there overheard our conversation. 

He led us to another track and asked, "Is he 6?" I replied, "Pretty much. In 4 days he will be." He took my son's hand and led him to the first car. He padded the back of his seat with large cushions and buckled him in. The man turned to me and said, "This one is on me." Ryan had no idea what was about to happen. He just thought he was sitting in a cool little go-kart. The man explained the pedals and Ryan listened intently. Next, he turn on the go-kart. And said, "Go!" The look on my son's face was priceless. Looking back at me for approval and then giggling as he raced down the track. 

The moment was priceless. My son felt special. 

We went to the pumpkin patch in Yorkville this week. It's on Rt. 71, just west of Rt. 47. It's across from the Kendall County Fair Grounds. They have you-pick pumpkins, and a ton of pre-picked pumpkins, squash and more. The nicest couple owns this place and the man often gives out apples to the children. Ryan picked up a pumpkin a little bigger than his hands. "That one is on me," said the man. A nice, kind gesture that made Ryan feel special.  We picked out several pumpkins to take home. Ryan posed with the man for a picture and we were on our way. 

The silver dollars inspired me. I am thinking of a way to tie them in to a random act of kindness. To share that feeling that these people shared with us, the feeling of simply having an exceptional, special experience, should be shared. 

I value every time someone has made us feel special. And I vow to pass this along at any chance I get.

A new motto for me: Never miss an opportunity to make someone feel special. And thank you so much to those who made us feel that way.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Wendi Mckenzie October 18, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Made me smile :)
Jen Slepicka October 18, 2012 at 04:48 PM
There have probably been even more things.. Just simple, generous efforts that made my day easier, better. A friend bringing balloons to decorate the festival entrance.. ;) Many hugs!

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