My cousin sent me a very encouraging email recently, saying that *I* was an encouragement to HER, in the realm of parenting. The reason I do the things I do to encourage other moms is because of a day like this one, when other people were an encouragement to me.
I noticed that I misplaced my house keys after dropping off my 4 year old "S" at school and was very thankful that my husband "P" had not left for work yet as I knocked on the door to be let in. I looked around everywhere, but knew they would show up eventually, so I didn't stress. "P" helped me find a spare key and then I went out to do my shopping.
I started out at store A. It was 10 minutes until the store opened, much to my chagrin, so I packed my 2 year old "L" back into the car to head for store B--use my time wisely, right? Well, the poor sweetie was screaming at me and wrestling to keep from getting back into his car seat because, gosh darn it, he wanted to go shopping and it didn't look like that was going to happen from his perspective. Finally I got him strapped in and got on the road to store B, with plans to go back to store A afterward.
At store B my son was an angel. I got my shopping done (with a slight pause at the meat counter for a properly sized package of meat, graciously cubed by the meat cutter so I didn't have to later), checked out without any problems (12 items in the 10 items or less checkout made me nervous, but without reason, thankfully!) and headed to the car.
At the car, I unloaded the groceries, and as I was preparing to unload "L," another mom walked by with her young child so I asked her if she wanted my cart. (I always ask someone if they want my cart, whoever they are. That way I am a nice person AND I don't have to take the cart back and wonder whether to leave the kid(s) in the cart and then carry/drag them to the car, or leave them in the car and take the cart back--with the car locked of course to prevent a cameo on the nightly news with a parking lot horror story.)
Well, the woman said she did not want my cart because she was getting a "car" cart for her son. I told her I completely understood and smiled at her. She proceeded to walk to the store and I proceeded to fume because she did not have the sensitivity to see another mother in need and help her out! Grrrr. I should have proceeded to ask God for forgiveness at that point, but I didn't. After I put "L" in the car and finished fuming, I realized that there was a cart return a couple of cars away. My anger mostly diminished. But my story doesn't end there. Remember store A?
Store A is going out of business in a couple of months so they've got lots of bargains. I get a "Costco" cart. Cool! More room for stuff! Prior visits to this store have only rendered a very small shopping cart, which probably would have been big enough for my items, but bigger is better, right? (I really LOVE shopping carts, don't you? They're like a gigantic purse that you can put your kid into!)
A couple of aisles into my shopping I gradually start feeling like Madame Blueberry from VeggieTales. She is a greedy berry who wants everything and ends up losing her nice tree-house because it gets too heavy and ricochets far away. Well, Madame "Me" got too big of a cart, two of which could not pass each other in the aisle!. Harumph. Needless to say, my shopping took a little longer because of this little detail.
Remember the mini shopping carts I mentioned? Well, when I finally got done and paid for my items, I also found that the "Costco" cart does not fit through their front door. WHY have a cart that will NOT FIT through the aisles NOR the entrance to get to the PARKING LOT?????? I had to transfer all of my bags and "L" to one of the mini carts so I could get out the door. It was tight, but everything fit.
I believe I succeeded in God's lesson in patience for me yesterday because anyone I interacted with only saw my sweet, kind-natured exterior. I enjoyed my shopping trip, despite it's twists and turns. And as I stepped up to the door to get "S" from preschool, the teacher handed me my house keys, asking me if they were mine.