Monday, July 18, 2011

A Stranger's Words

Things are a little frayed around the edges in our house these days. I'm feeling a lot of negativity creep into my thoughts as my little one experiences her first "rough patch" emotionally (i.e. my kid is throwing tantrums the likes of which I've only rolled my eyes about in Walmart). Sleep is nil. Meals are whatever she'll eat. And trips around town, to church, or even to the playground are a nightmare. My poor girl. My poor husband. Poor... me.

So today, my urchin kiddo and I went to Target, and in the Home Office aisle there stood one truly lovely lady - very well put together but not overdone, tall, thin, classy. I noticed her loveliness and shrunk nearer to my basket, supremely conscious of my figure (great with child), my clothes ("if it fits, wear it"), and my child, who had up until that moment been pretty well behaved, but was now on the verge of an episode.

Not trying to impress anyone, but rather trying to tame the beast, I pulled myself out of self-pity and I played the "cheerful parent game," engaging my daughter, talking to her about what we saw and heard all around us. She heard a baby cry several aisles over, so I asked her:
"What do we do when babies cry?"
"We HELP dem! Don't cry, baby. It'll be alwight..."
"That's right. Even babies need our kindness..."
"We love our babies, Mama." This is a common conversation at our house as we prepare for the arrival of a new baby in our own home. Our conversation went on for a few minutes and I forgot about the lady, my awkwardness, and my pride.

And then, she spoke to me. She, the pretty lady stepped out of her well put together, organized, picture of loveliness and tapped me on the shoulder and said "You are the sweetest, most precious mama I've ever seen. She's a lucky little girl."

Y'all. Seriously. I burst into tears. I didn't know what to say, except "Thanks. I needed that." And she smiled and walked away.

Somehow, sometimes, it means more when it comes from a stranger. Makes me want to be kind to others. Makes me want to try harder to help my child. Makes me wonder how I can make someone else feel as blessed by my words as I was by hers. I hope I can remember that tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I love this story. You are a wonderful mother!