If you read my Twitter bio, I describe myself as an SAHM (Sometimes At Home Mom) being raised by my four children.
Case in point:
My kids and I were walking downtown this morning. Correction. We were slowly crawling underwater, against the tide, with heavy weights strapped to our bodies trying to get from point A to point B. That pretty much describes what it’s like to “run errands” with four kids, and whoever made that phrase up did not have children because there is no such thing as running errands when the kids tag along. It’s more like meandering, or attempting errands at best.
So I’m in a hurry, I’m trying to rush my kids along, and just as we had fiiiinally started picking up some momentum, we passed by a woman who asked me for spare change. She mumbled and I had to slightly pause to make sure she was talking to me because I hardly ever get asked for change when I’m walking down the street with four kids. I usually get a wow-I-thought-I-had-it-bad or a hey-do-you-want-to-borrow-my-sign kind of look.
Rather than fumble through my purse and stop the momentum, I kept walking and called out that I would catch her on my way back. I meant it, too, but all I had on my mind in the moment was walk walk walk walk walk walk walk.
As we inched closer to our destination, my kids asked me questions about the woman and I gave them very matter of fact answers. She asked for thirty cents. I don’t know what she wants to buy with it. I don’t know if she has a home. I don’t know if she is someone’s mom.
At last, we made it! We shopped! No one broke anything! No one whined on the way out!
On our way back to the car, I had a very mission accomplished feeling that no dawdling toddler could take away. My kids were actually walking fast, excited with our new homeschool purchases, and my mind had completely moved on to the next orders of business for the day.
“Uh, mama? Aren’t you going to give that woman some change?”
D’oh! I completely forgot.
But my kids, who I’m always reminding to do the silliest of things like make sure you unroll your socks before putting them in the hamper, they kept her in mind the whole time. So I fished through my purse, found a quarter for each and told them to hand it to her with a smile.
She was nowhere to be found. We even looked down a few side streets with no luck.
And that there was the lesson, folks. They didn’t need to lecture me to get the point across. In that moment, so many things bothered me about my actions. Why didn’t I take the time…to give her change in the first place…to at least tell her we’d be back in about 20 minutes…to not assume that she had nothing else better to do but wait around for us and our change.
It was a missed opportunity to treat a fellow human being as important and deserving of respect.
Thanks, Aumies. You’ve done it again. Now can I just let you know that there’s more to raising me than teaching me life lessons. Please don’t forget I also need food, clean laundry, and plenty of
dark chocolate and wine vitamins!