I have been thinking lately about a time that someone has reached out and randomly shown me or my kids kindness. To be clear, my close friends and family has always been supportive. Outside of that protective bubble however, I realized that, I don't have much experience with this. Most of my almost seven years of mommy experience has been laced with unkind words, stares, mean words whispered behind my back and some said to my face. I could count on both hand those few times. I have been made to feel like a failure as a mom, far more often than as a success.
To spite this, not all too long ago something special happened. I was at church with my kids and someone that I don't know very well walked up to me and told me that my kids were so well behaved. She went on to say that she knows how hard that it is. My jaw about hit the floor. I mumbled a surprised thank you. Such a simple act. It made the rest of my day and I felt like I was on cloud nine.
Afterwards as I thought about it I realized how revolutionary it would be if we all said something. Far too often complete strangers feel that it's ok to voice negative comments. What would the world be like if people were equally vocal about the positive things?
The week following my random praise I was at a large grocery store. Think high ceilings, bright lights, lot of people and echoing noises. The lines were long at check out. In the line next to me was a mom. She had three kids under five. One was in a carrier strapped on the front of her. She was unloading a full cart while she talked her middle kid down from a meltdown. I could tell by the,(oh too familiar), lack of eye contact that she expected someone to say something rude. Instead I silently watched as she used kind words towards her children. I was amazed by her. I quickly bagged my stuff and before I left I gently touched her arm and told her how impressed I was with her kids and what a good mom she was. In that fleeting moment I was able to pass on the kindness that was shown to me.