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A shift in perspective

in Life Lessons, Parenting, Random Musings

Photo by tkeys on

I went to a fabric store Tuesday to get some thread to sew patches on my daughter’s Girl Scout uniform. With supplies in hand, I made my way to the checkout 20 minutes before I had to pick up my son from preschool. Once in line I had the misfortune of being stuck behind a woman with her 2 and 4 year old grandsons. The youngest was sitting in the shopping cart and the oldest was jumping around and reeking havoc on the unsuspecting store.

The grandmother asked the older brother countless times to please hang onto the cart. She apologized to me and to the checker. I was childless and frustrated by the kid’s unwillingness to listen the grandmother’s inability to discipline.

“His mom is in class today,” she told me. “She’s finishing her master’s degree.”

While part of me was thinking “good for her,” the much larger part of me was hating her for being so selfish as to not realize how much her boys needed her to be present in their lives right now rather than seeking higher education. This grandmother had done her raising and should not be responsible for these two.

“Tell the nice lady where you daddy is,” the grandmother said.

I faked a smile and looked at him hoping, perhaps, a conversation would be enough of a distraction for the kid to settle down for two minutes. I had to check my stuff out so I could go get my kids from school. He was holding up the line.

“My Daddy got shotted by bullets,” he said without flinching. No eye contact. No hesitation.

I paused.

“Tell the nice lady,” the grandmother said. “Tell her where your daddy is.”

“He is with the angels in Heaven,” the child said.

“But where is his body? Where do we get to go visit him?” the grandmother coaxed.

“The national cemetary. My daddy is a hero. A willy, willy big hero.”

And the judgemental store, including myself, fell silent.

Moments later I was at their car helping the grandmother load her hyper kids into their carseats and thinking about just how amazingly blessed I really am.

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