Lady in that beat-up tan minivan. You’re still on my mind at 9:15pm… 5 hours after you decided to step on the little bit of positive in my day.
You see, you didn’t know that I woke up with a cough at 5am to a coughing, wheezing baby with a stuffy nose who’s trying to cut his first tooth.
You didn’t know that I left the first load of clothes in the washer too long and had to re-wash them.
You didn’t know the plans I had for my day that got changed.
You didn’t know my slight excitement over being able to go to the bathroom by myself, unassisted by my toddler. It was one of the good things that happened today.
You didn’t know the stresses I dealt with.
You didn’t know why I was even at HEB in the first place. You see, I didn’t realize we were out of vegetable oil, and I finally was getting to bake the breads I’d planned to bake last week. Except we were out of oil.
The shopping trip itself was fairly uneventful. Our biggest excitement was Brother getting to sit in the shopping cart for the first time next to Sister, and she did a really good job of being patient with him. I forgot to bring him anything to chew on, but we survived because I found a package of placemats in the diaper bag that sufficed. She had been so patient, including when he knocked the cookie I had gotten for her out of her hand and onto the ground after only one bite. You see, what you didn’t know was that right before you pulled up to “vulch” for my parking spot, I was telling her what an awesome big sister she is and how I’d make it up to her and get her another cookie on our way home.
You saw me there, in the second spot from the front- one of God’s tiny little blessings I learned to appreciate today- with my cart of four bags and my two beautiful children, and you decided to wait. You had a handicapped tag, and there were three open handicap spots on the row closer to the door, but you decided to wait. Your perogative. I put my bags in the back and pushed the cart to Baby Grayson’s door- where you couldn’t see.
You didn’t see his burp cloth fall on the ground, or how he twisted funny and hurt his arm when I got him out of the cart. You didn’t see me comfort him as I put him in his car seat, pick up the burp cloth, and adjust his seat belt. You didn’t see him then spit up everywhere. You didn’t hear my sweet little girl tell him “It’ll be ok, Brother. Mommy will clean you up.” You didn’t see me do just that. And honestly, I didn’t even know OR CARE that you were still there. Because, lady, my kids come first.
As I pulled my cart back around to the other side to put the world’s best big sister into the car, you didn’t give a single fleeting thought to any of what you don’t know about my life or my day or the moments on the other side of the car while you waited. Instead, you chose to gesture wildly and flip me AND MY 2 1/2 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER off. I simply replied to your open window, cigarette smoke puffing out at me, “I need to get my two kids in the car.” You proceeded to YELL back at me as you drove off in a huff, “Woman, I got five kids and two sets of twins and it never took me that long to load a car.”
Wow. Good for you. I’m sure you’re Speedy Gonzales (no that’s not a racial comment- she was as white as me) and you never once had to help one of your kids who spit up because I’m sure none of your five EVER did that… Seriously. I feel sad for you. And for your kids. If nothing else, it’s Christmas time. Show a little love. Show a little care. Show a little patience.
So thank you very little for the negative impact you had on my day, and thank you very much for reminding me to focus on what’s important in my life. Thank you for reminding me that I do the right thing every time I carefully load my precious cargo into our vehicle. Because even if it upsets you, I know that taking my time with each of my children is what I need to do to keep them safe. I don’t purposefully take my time to annoy anyone, but please- don’t judge when you don’t know, and be glad this mama bear didn’t do a whole lot more when you flipped off my baby girl.
And fyi- next time you are rude to a woman in the HEB parking lot, that woman might not be as nice as me. She might be someone just like you… Merry Christmas, Mrs Scrooge. May you learn to change your Christmas Present, or your Christmas Future might not be real bright.