A woman (in a stunning art deco rain coat that my grandmother would have attempted to purchase from her on the spot) gave Arden and I her cart at Aldi today.
“On me.” she said. “what a polite little girl.”
Yes it was only 25 cents, but three steps later, when Arden melted-down over having to close her umbrella, it was that woman’s small act of kindness that checked my embarrassment.
My 2 year old had just been lugged in and out of the rain, doctors’ offices, and grocery stores. She had met new people, been told “shh let’s use our inside voices” countless times. She had FINALLY captured ownership of HER umbrella ☔ and simply could not be prouder.
She didn’t care that the lady in the beautiful coat thought she was polite. All she knew, in that moment, was that the very thing which had enthralled her, was being ripped from her hands. No explanation, just a “you can’t have it open in here. Make a good choice or we are going back to the car until you calm down.”
That seemed sufficient to me at first, but then I realized that my judgment kept me from seeing the world through her eyes. I am older and wiser about many things, but the language of love was reintroduced to me, through the eyes of a two year old.
Love is bigger than my personal perceptions, judgments, or fears. Love is crouching down, in a crowded entrance and helping my daughter understand why she can’t have the umbrella open while walking through a grocery store. Love is recognizing that the majority of the time, when I mess it up…….
………..just like forgiveness, I have to choose love to receive it, know it, or grow.