So, if I’m being honest, I should be husking corn to prep for freezing and mopping my kitchen floors right now, but I have too much on my mind. I need to get it out first. Cleaning will wait. Cleaning can always wait.
A lot has happened in our world, our country in the last week. Things that I thought we were close to being done with. Things I thought I would be able to teach my kids as part of a “history” lesson, not “current events.” Things that have make me angry, cry, and devastate me. Our world does not need to be a hateful place. Why do so many think these actions are ok?! I simply cannot wrap my head around it.
My theory is: You can be proud of who you are. You can be proud of the accomplishments of yourself and those you love. You can share your pride with others. You DO NOT get to be an ass hole to ANYONE! Period. You don’t get to be mean. You don’t get to say hurtful things and above all you CAN NOT HURT another person! I teach this to my one year old and three year old and four year old with relatively good success… adults should not have an issue learning this lesson.
So here’s my “true life” point, something that happened to me yesterday that restored a little faith in the world. I had some errands to run and needed to bribe my children to get through them. So we went to McDonald’s for lunch. My kids were SO well behaved as they had to wait by my side for our food. Then I balanced a wiggly one year old on my hip and carried a fully loaded tray to a table, with one child racing ahead and one dawdling behind. I set the tray on a table and looked around for the next best course of action. I needed to fill three drink cups, but the kids wanted to play in the small play area (not one with the big slide and tubes, just a little house that would only keep their attention for a few short seconds). I could see the area from where the drinks were and decided to take my chances. I asked my oldest to watch my youngest (useless words, but I tried) and I scurried over to fill the drinks, keeping a close eye over my shoulder in case the baby decided to run for it. I also filled three ketchup cups. Because fries and chicken nuggets cannot be eaten without ketchup. Around me I could see three other moms with older children, upper elementary age at least, and a few single people eating and waiting to fill drinks. I get my drinks and balance the ketchup on top. I think I have it under control and BAM. Ketchup cups slip off and cover the floor. I quickly set the drinks down, use the pile of napkins I had grabbed to mop up ketchup and hustle to the table, as I can see the baby start to look for me. No one offered a hand or help. No one came to my rescue. I got the kids their meals and was able to sneak over quick and refill the ketchup before any major melt downs. We finished our meals and headed to the bathroom before leaving. My little parade of blond haired ducklings marched into the bathroom. My kids had been so well behaved the entire time, but I was still starting to feel worn out. I scooted my crew into the large stall, all four of us, excusing ourselves as we walked by a lady washing her hands. And as we passed her, she turned to me and said the most simple thing. She asked, “Do you need some help?” That’s it. Nothing big, nothing major, just a simple offer. I knew the baby wouldn’t go to her, and the other two had to pee. But the simple words completely uplifted my spirits. I thanked her for the generous offer and that we had it under control. But my, how that changed the rest of my day. To know that there was someone out there who was willing. I know I have offered the same kind of assistance on many occasions to others, especially moms of multiples. Why? Because I’ve been there. It’s hard to be a mom and accomplish, well, anything. It’s hard to keep it together when you really want to do is fall apart and cry (often just like that child infront of you is doing).
But, y’all, COMPASSION and EMPATHY. It’s the name of the game. Put yourself in their shoes. That lady took nothing out of her day to say those few little words to me, and yet they completely impacted me. Now, think about a small little action. The lady in front of you in the grocery line is $0.16 short on her bill and you toss out a quarter. What’s a quarter to most of us, but to her it was not having to pick between milk and tampons. No one wants to make that choice. Or offer to push out a stroller for the Dad who’s baby is refusing to get back in and the three year old is running in the other direction and he just wants to leave the store so baby can take a nap. Almost zero effort on your part => HUGE difference in their day.
Please, take a moment today. Think about the other side. Give a little extra. Give a little more. If we all put in the effort, change will happen, differences will be made.