It brings to mind the very first time that I left the house with my first child. We were just running to the grocery store for a few things, but it seemed so monumental. It was just me, just going about my life, doing this ordinary thing, but now I had a CHILD, and that changed everything. Stepping out into the world with my baby felt akin to jumping out of a plane.
Just Be Nice
Over the last few weeks, I've been witness to some plain old fashioned meanness. Oh some if it's been directed at me, some of it at other mamas in this bloggy world, some of it towards people I love and some toward people I don't know at all. I guess I could say, "What is the world coming too?" but it's nothing new, not really.
Times get tough, people get stressed out and some folks just feel like lashing out I guess. Still… I don't see how meanness helps matters.
It didn't help that my poor boy hated the car seat with all his might from the word go. He would scream this awful, purple-faced, barely breathing scream when you strapped him in, and he would not let up until you took him out. It made going to the grocery store a very, VERY big deal.
So there we were, both of us crying in the car, and me pleading with the stoplight to just for the love of God change to green so that I could two-wheel it into the parking lot and free my babe from that awful seat.
It didn't change. We sat and we sat and he screamed and I cried and held onto the wheel with white knuckles. I'm sure it was only seconds, but it felt like hours before the light finally did turn green. To make matters worse though, the beat up old car in front of me did not move. It was a red four-door and the fabric on the headrests was all torn up. The driver was an older man, bald, with a few meager threads of hair carefully oiled and pressed over his shining pate. Well I was THIS close to losing it all together and laying on the horn. I mean seriously, the light was green, my baby was about to explode and there he was just taking in the scenery! But then I had the oddest thought – that bald headed man was once some mother's bald headed baby.
The thought of it just made my heart do flip flops. It made him seem fragile too – another life that needed protecting from this big scary world. It occurred to me this fella was nearing the end of his life probably. Of course his mother was surely long gone, but she had loved that head with all the desperation that I loved the boy in my backseat. The poor guy seemed so alone then in his beat up car, and it just scared me to think that my boy might be that man someday… that he would be alone and fragile and maybe frightened and people would have no patience for him.
It was only a few seconds. He noticed the light and drove away. I never knew his name, or where he was headed, but I think of him from time to time.
Every now and again I see his shiny head and it reminds me… we are all someone's child. Under all the hair, we are all bald. Each one of us is just trying to make our way. Each one of us falters sometimes. Each one of us needs a little grace.
So without going into details or pointing fingers or passing judgement, I'm just going to ask you this – is there some stuff that you could just let go of? If someone has got your goat, could you just maybe back up and ask yourself if it's worth going to war over? Is it worth adding more meanness to the world? That person that's on your last good nerve, who has rubbed you the wrong way, who is in your way, could you maybe give them a break, even if they don't deserve it? Cuz really, why not? Why not just assume there is more to the story than you know? Why not just give someone the benefit of the doubt? Why not listen and love?
I mean yeah, some things are worth fighting for. Sometimes you need to draw a line in the sand, but more often than not I think, we just need to chalk some stuff up to human frailty and love on people anyhow. You know?
It would be a lot nicer world I think, if we looked at all people, even the annoying ones, as someone's beloved.