Our normal routine is to celebrate a successful trip with hotdogs for lunch and so, like every other person on their lunch break, we got in line.
3 hotdogs please.
Judah gets his own lemonade.
Paisley wants to get her own, but I know how that'll end so, I give her the job of gathering straws.
I get a diet coke.
We sit down, far away from the umbrellas that cover the tables. My kids like to spin those umbrellas and although some people might not care if their kids spin and eat, I find it rude so, we just try to steer clear of them.
I eat the hotdog and Eliza, who wiggles on my lap eats the bun. Judah and Paisley eat, sip lemonade and look longingly and the kids sitting by the umbrellas, spinning them without a care in the world.
We talk about the big poster on the wall. The kids talk with their mouths open, but this time I decide not to say anything.
The lady next to me tells me that I have my hands full. She's eating a huge slice of pizza and I'm tempted to tell her that she has her hands full as well, but that wouldn't be very nice, now would it. Honestly, I know she doesn't mean anything bad by it. Remember when I wrote about that here? Most people use the "you have your hands full" as a conversation starter, because they can't think of anything else more obvious to say. And yes, it's true, I DO have my hands full.
I finish my hot dog quickly, since I'm eating only the dog part and giving Eliza the bun and as I sit there watching the kids eat, I notice a man watching us, smiling as he eats his lunch. When the kids wiggle, he cracks up a bit. It makes me realize that they really NEVER hold still.
They wiggle, he watches. He smiles, but it doesn't seem creepy.
The kids decide that they'd rather finish their hotdogs and lemonade in the car and so, we wrap them up, put Eliza back in the cart and get in line to show our receipt.
Just as I get to the front of the line, the guy walks right up next to me.
He looks at me, his hotdog in one hand and his drink in the other. With our shoulders almost touching, he says "Major props to you, Mom! It's really all about kindness and patience isn't it?"
I look at him surprised and say "Wow. Yes, it really, really is.You're absolutely right."
He stands there for a moment and tells me that kids really respond to it.
That we all have our moments, but that kindness and patience are where it's at and that he can see how kids acts differently when treated with kindness and patience.
He tells me I'm doing a great job and then he goes on his way.
We walk forward two steps, Judah accidentaly trips Paisley and her lemonade splashes all over the floor. I look up and see a friend from church. We stop the line of customers trying to leave the store, with our slippery lemonade pile.
They bring paper towels. We apologize and then we head to the car and I tear up a bit- not from the lemonade, but from what that guy said.
Kindness and patience do NOT always come easy to me. Just this morning, I freaked out about how I don't want to do the same thing all over again. I didn't want to clean AGAIN for it to get all messed up AGAIN. I didn't want to do laundry AGAIN for there to always be more and I was JEALOUS of my husband who gets to go to work and be with adults.
But, then we go to Costco and a nice stranger caught us having a good moment and he was brave enough to say something. I'm thankful and it makes me want to be brave. It makes me want to always try to be kind and patient, even when it's the last thing that I'm feeling.
He probably has no idea how badly I needed to hear his words.
A few photos from our life lately:
Perfecting the cannon ball.....
"That was scary!!! One more time!"