To The Stranger Who Came Up To Me At Coborn’s
I've contemplated whether to share this story because I really don't want people to get the wrong idea about my intentions. This is something that happened to me about a month ago and I realized it's worth sharing.
I usually make my weekly trip to Coborn's with my son Charlie. He loves getting his free cookie and pushing the cow button in the dairy aisle. Oh, to be a kid again.
Most importantly, I like teaching him what things are at the store. He is like a little sponge absorbing so much information all of the time. The grocery store is a great place to learn about what the different foods are.
So, I usually look like a crazy lady talking to my son up and down the aisles asking him what things are...and usually answering myself.
There was a guy behind us at the start of our shopping trip. I thought he was probably annoyed with all of our talking...I talk to Charlie a lot. I continued through the store and didn't notice the man again...until we got to the dairy aisle.
I let Charlie press the cow button, not once, not twice...but, three times. He was laughing so hard. Then, I gave him a big kiss on the forehead.
I heard someone behind me call out, "Miss". But, I didn't turn around because I didn't think this person was talking to me. Then, I heard him again. So, I turned back and looked.
It was the same man who was behind me earlier. I thought to myself, 'uh oh...what did we do?' Was he really annoyed with me for letting my son push the cow button three times? I'm a protective mama bear, so I was ready to tell this guy to lighten up about the cow button. I thought, 'this guy clearly doesn't have kids.'
He simply said, "Thank you!" Puzzled, I replied, "For what?"
Again, he said, "Just thank you...for loving him. Thank you for loving him the way you do."
I was shocked, puzzled and kind of caught off guard. I thought this guy was going to tell me how annoying I was. I was ready to defend myself. All at once, I didn't know what to do. I simply said, "how could I not love him so much? Look at his little face."
The man told me to have a nice day and then left. And, I thought about his comment the whole rest of my trip. I thought about it while I packed Charlie in the car and drove home. I thought about it the rest of the night.
Why would a stranger thank me for something I'm supposed to do anyway? I couldn't figure it out. I mean, a mom is supposed to love her son. Why would a stranger thank me for that?
I didn't want to share my story because I thought that if I did, people would think I was bragging about how great of a mom other people think I am. I promise that I don't think I'm a perfect mom by any means.
But, that stranger at the grocery store gave me a compliment that made me feel good. I think moms and dads are usually the last people to get complimented on their parenting. Usually parents navigate through life being criticized for everything they do. I mean, I was ready for this stranger to criticize me and I had my guard up.
It was almost strange getting thanked for parenting my son. After I got over the initial weirdness of it all, I realized that stranger's compliment made me feel good. It was something I didn't even know I needed to hear.
I don't know who this man is or how I can thank him for the compliment. But, I hope that my story inspires you to share your appreciation with someone in your life. Maybe that person ends up being a total stranger you meet at the grocery store.