It had been a tough day. I just got off work and had to stop at the store to pick up some last minute items for dinner. I dragged dad (unhappily) to the store with me, to help with the heathens as I sifted through my coupons and filled our cart.
Our shopping trip was almost over. We were on our last aisle when dad stepped away to grab something from the other end of the store.
That’s when hell broke. Not even playing.
My oldest was getting bored, and had now chosen to torment his 7-month-old brother to the point that they were both screaming. After trying over and over to soothe the little one and calm my oldest, I was at my witts end.
I became more stern. He didn’t listen.
Instead, he decided to begin destroying the aisle; toppling items over on shelves, laughing as they fell on the floor. Desperation came over me. I just wanted to cry and run.
Everyone stared as I frantically picked up the products to put them back in their place. I tried my best to manage the situation; praying for dad to just hurry back so I could get the chaos under control. I anxiously tried to take a deep breath, my chest quivering as I choked back tears, attempting to force my mind into a search for solutions that would appease everyone, including my audience of critics.
My voice began to crack. I was reaching my tipping point.
Suddenly I felt the hand of my stranger rub my back. When I turned, I found a mature woman I had never met before, trying to soothe me.
“You got this mama!” She said. I looked to her anxiously awaiting advice, her only response was a thumbs up and a sweet smile as she exited the aisle.
That’s all I really needed.
I was able to take another deep breath and find my composure. I dealt out instructions like a BOSS, never having to raise my voice or my hand. Not once.
I never got the chance to graciously thank this stranger for her love in my time of need, but if I could return the favor to her, I would do it without hesitation.
In that moment I realized – sometimes, that is all we need. Just a helping hand, or kind words when we are drowning in our own discomfort. This woman saved me and my children from making a fool of ourselves. She prevented the chaos from escalating into something much worse.
If we all did this instead of passing judgement on each other, imagine how much better the world would be to exist in.