Today was not the best day for a variety of reasons. It could have been. My kids and I spent the morning with a good friend and her kids hanging out and making awesome ceramic pieces to go on a totem pole. Every day that includes an art project rocks! But some other things were slipping in to weigh down my day.
Then it happened. I was waiting in the interminable line at Noodles with my kids [had to catch a bite before one of the kids had a try out]. The kids had been bickering a lot in the car and it looked like it would continue [after circling at least 4 times to even find a parking spot in what looks like an endless sea of spots, but none available], but they actually got to business deciding what to order. In the end they decided to SHARE two meals–all on their own mind you. As I was paying attention to when we could get our order in since it was looking like we could be late for the aforementioned try outs, a woman tapped me on the shoulder. Then she uttered these magic words:
“Your kids are so sweet! Whatever you are doing, it’s going really well. Keep it up!”
I cannot imagine what the look on my face was as I mustered the energy to stammer, “Thank you…” Then I was off to order, but the feeling of being acknowledged lingered. It was the best because it was fully unexpected, honest, and bold. Parenting [as you know] is a tough job [yes, it is also very rewarding and I wouldn’t change it for anything else in the world!]. I want to offer that same acknowledgement to someone soon. Especially a parent in the throws of dealing with a tough situation and doing it well. I tend to be too shy or not want to intrude. Or I wonder how they will take it if I say something. Either way I keep my mouth shut and let other parents do their thing. I plan to change that approach–right now!
What would our world/community be like if we all took a moment to acknowledge another person’s efforts? Just this small act… Have you ever said something positive to a parent you don’t know about their children or how they are parenting? How did it feel? How did it work out?