Hotels and the Kindness of StrangersPosted: January 4, 2016
Babykins and I had our first hotel stay sans my husband last week. Needless to say, it was a learning experience, but one of the more difficult aspects of the stay was checkout.
For checking in, I had managed to get our things inside by strapping Babykins in her stroller while loading a luggage cart. I then pulled the cart while carrying Babykins. It wasn’t easy, but I managed.
When it came time for me to pack the car so we could leave, the hotel’s two carts were gone.I went to the front desk and asked if they had more. The woman at the desk explained, “No, and if the carts are in someone’s room, there isn’t much we can do. But you can walk the halls to see if any were left out.” She offered no other help.
At this point in my trip, I was extremely sleep deprived. I was awake from a combination of desperation and copious cups of coffee. My ability to intelligently problem solve was greatly reduced. Consequently, I saw only two solutions to my luggage dilemma: find a cart or carry everything myself with Babykins in tow.
After checking the 2nd and 3rd floors for a wayward cart (I forgot to check 1st floor–I told you I was tired), the only cart I could find was parked in front of a door. I didn’t want to take a cart that someone was using and couldn’t ask because the door was shut. Figuring it wasn’t polite to knock on a stranger’s hotel door at 8:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day, I left the cart (of course, it’s also not polite to leave the luggage carts in the hall after using it or to hoard them, you jerk on the 3rd floor!).
I resigned myself to carrying out our luggage. On the first trip to the car, I carried Babykins while lugging the Pack ‘n Play. I then pulled the stroller from the car so I could push Babykins while carrying the rest of our things.
On my third trip to the car, two woman in the lobby took pity on me. They offered to watch Babykins in the lobby while I finished loading the car. I initially hesitated at their offer. After all, who leaves their child with strangers in a hotel?! But they looked respectable and I had chatted briefly with one of the women earlier. I knew she was a mom of a 10-year-old (who was sitting next to her). I needed help and they were offering. It would take much less time and energy to load the car without pushing Babykins in the stroller. I finally accepted their assistance.
I quickly finished loading the car and profusely thanked the 2 women for watching Babykins. They told me that they completely understood my difficulty and that they were happy to help.
We live in a sinful world filled with murder, torture, and kidnappings. We’re taught from a young age not to trust strangers, even if they look nice. Parenthood encourages us to be even more suspicious of those around us as news stories and social media fill our minds with fear of worst-case scenarios.
However, young motherhood has taught me that sometimes I have to trust strangers to help me. My pride wants me to believe that I can do everything myself, but my child makes me realize that complete independence isn’t possible. Family and friends can usually step in to help, but every once in a while it has to be kind strangers.
In hindsight, I should have pressed the front desk to help me more. They are in the hospitality business, hospitality should be expected. I could have asked them to send someone to look for a cart (a person who could knock on room doors). If a cart couldn’t be found, I could have asked for help carrying my luggage. Apparently I can’t assume that a hotel will try to make my stay easier.
Still, I’m thankful for the two mothers who had compassion on me and showed kindness to my daughter. I won’t forget them.