I had to get a few things at the store the other day and was behind two people in line. A woman with 4 children and a man. They were getting things separately, but were together. The woman bought some things, paid for them, then took a large flat screen TV out of her cart to pay for it. Her credit card didn't go though. She got mad. She asked for the man's phone. The kids were restless. Tt was a hot summer day and I am sure the last place they wanted to be was the store. She got really mad at the little boy, about 4, he was the second oldest. She started yelling, grabbed him hard, pulled him and he started crying. Hard. She kept yelling and grabbed him again. My heart broke. The man wasn't any help. I gave a look of compassion to the boy. I started to get hot and tremble a bit. Thoughts crossed my mind. I dreamed of the things I wanted to say:
"Hi, I love children, but can't have any more. You are so blessed to have 4. Could you please be nice to the them?"
"Hi, I've spent $30,000 on fertility treatments and have 3 miscarriages to show for it. Please appreciate the beautiful children you have."
"Hi, I'd do about anything (and feel like I have) to have 4 beautiful children. Be thankful for yours."
"Hi, if you lay another finger on that sweet little boy, you will regret it."
Instead of saying anything I was quiet. I felt flushed, said a prayer for those sweet children and the upset mother, and left with my bags. I felt unsettled for quite some time.
A few weeks ago I was at Como Zoo with my good friend and her children. We were having a great day. I went into the restroom and heard a mom berating her 9ish year old daughter. "Going on this field trip was the worst idea I ever had! I thought it would be fun, but it's not. No, I will not buy you a water, the other kids don't get bottles of water...why should you?! This has been a terrible day! I am never going on a school trip with you again!" The little girl was trembling and crying. They went into a stall together. I was trembling. How could a mother talk to her daughter that way? Ever. And, in front of her classmates--even worse. The girl walked out of the stall before her mom. I touched her arm and said, "It's ok, sweetie." She gave me a timid smile. The mom came out, looked at me and didn't say other word.
I wonder if these moms know how truly blessed they are.