We were in a crafting store earlier today, the last stop before we headed home. I had paints and brushes for a project I’ve been needing to finish (more on that another day). Now, this particular craft store has really small shopping carts which don’t contain a three year old very well. So I let Little Guy run around with Big Brother while I compared paints.
Fast forward 10 minutes to Little Guy having a complete tantrum in the middle of the store as only a three year old can. As I was trying to grab him to put him in the cart he was running backwards away from me and nearly ran into another shopper. By this point I was extremely embarrassed because I was that mom. You know, the one who can’t control her screaming child.
I was trying to hold it together while finishing my shopping (I really needed these things and the craft store is so far from our home and I was not leaving without my paints!) I almost burst into tears when someone commented, “Oh that sounds like a tired cry, doesn’t it?” because we no longer take naps at our house and so there really was no end to this until bedtime. Sweet, sweet bedtime.
As I got in line to pay I looked up and inwardly cringed because we were in line behind the same lady that Little Guy almost ran into on the other side of the store. Great, I thought, we are giving her another dose of my parenting failure.
She turned around and looked at us, What a sight we must have been. Big Brother was grabbing the pole holding the checkout line railing, almost pulling the whole thing down on himself. Little Guy was screaming and trying to throw himself down out of the cart. Oh, and I forgot to mention, he had a very stinky diaper which I’m sure everyone within a 25 foot radius of us could smell. I cringed, but she gave me a smile and said, “You’re doing a great job.”
That was completely unexpected. I was so busy condemning myself that I expected everyone else around me to do the same. Wow.
As I was leaving the store, she handed me a sample bottle of lavender essential oil along with her business card. “Rub some on his ears,” she said, “and yours too!” Holding back tears, I managed to thank her and get my children out of the store.
Dear sweet woman, you redeemed my day. Thank you.
By the time we got to the van, diaper changed, oil soothingly applied, I was ready for the rest of my day. I had confidence I would survive, and my children will not be ruined because of me.
Where have you experienced unexpected kindness?