I know every single mother has been there. Their kids, just being kids, making noise and being wild in public. I used to be embarrassed by the loudness and, honestly, I didn’t want to leave the house if I could help it. It seemed as if everyone was looking at me, like they’d never been a child themselves. Like their mothers never toted them around the grocery store, with mismatched clothes they picked for themselves.
The worst is when you’re in a moment of complete frazzledness and someone comments by saying, “Wow, you’ve got your hands full”. It feels like they’re implying you can’t handle the children you have and I don’t like it. Not one bit.
Nearly 2 years ago, I was in the grocery store with a 3 year old and a newborn. I was in the checkout line when the baby suddenly realized he was starving and the 3 year old was having a meltdown over the candy he wanted to eat right then. A little lady, who had to be in her 80’s started a conversation with me. She must have not been able to quite make out the sheer panic or sweat beads on my face. I was mortified, but she didn’t seem phased.
She rubbed my fussy baby’s hand and said “Children are such a gift. You are so lucky.”
I didn’t even know how to respond. Although I agreed with her, I couldn’t even believe what had just come out of her mouth. I was prepared for the normal. The negative. The positive was a breath of fresh air. Just what I needed to get through the line without shedding a tear.
I haven’t forgotten about that lady and about how her words–probably forgotten by her–meant so much to me. I wonder if she’d ever had children and was just reminiscing about their childhood days. What if she wasn’t able to or regretted not have children at all? Whatever the case, she spoke words that were life to me. Not the words many others would have spoken. She changed not only my day, but nearly every day I take my kids out in public.
A small action can be enough to change someone for much more than that moment. Let’s join together and use our words to make the world a better place.
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Aaryn Rubin says
I can totally relate-my friend and I shopped the Lord and Taylor sale-but had to take my 3 because my husband was working. My oldest son, 4, decided that he was going to pull off the underwear of all the lingerie manikins as well as take my younger son, 2, to look for tushes on all the other manikins. Talk about embarrassing. I was also told by a worker to tell my son to stop kicking a display, which I was trying to do, while also corralling my 4 year old…good times good times…
Kenzie Ashcraft says
I totally know what you mean. My favorite is when the other women who have older children roll their eyes and scoff. I am sure they forgot what it was like to have younger kids. What a blessing that sweet lady was. 🙂
yours truly says
Great post. Children are such blessings and are amazing. People look at me weird sometimes because my sons being loud or trying to talk a lot when we're in public. You won't hear any shushing from me, my baby's trying to talk to me!
I thought for sure when this post popped up that you were announcing an addition to your family (#3). I always feel the need to retort when people tell me I have my hands full. I wouldnt want it any other way. That sweet woman, those words will never be forgotten and they are so true. Babies and children are blessings!