This morning Davis woke up with a case of the "seasonal allergies." I knew right away by looking at his runny nose because I had woke up during the night with itchy watery eyes, and the same runny nose. This morning was also the morning that bright and early my husband was to drop his work truck off to be serviced, so I was going to follow him down to the shop. I quickly got Davis dressed and realized that his runny nose came with a case of the grumpies. In case you are not familiar with the grumpies in a two year old, they are quite unpleasant as there is no reasoning with the cute tiny being.
Heading into town, I thought to myself, I will accomplish all I need to do while I am out! Our dog, "Kenai," needed a new collar as his was about toast. He is a large breed, Border Collie and Lab mix, which doesn't sound BIG, but he is on the large 100+ pounds side. But skinny... oh so slim. So in my grand scheme to run all of my errands, I decided to bring Kenai along for his first trip to Petco... cause you know, "it's where the pets go." And because I needed to be sure the collar that we bought fit him accordingly.
It took both my husband and I to control our hundred pound mans best friend trying to try his new collar on. Standing next to the collars where we were standing, was... child sized shopping carts. It was like Davis had become magnetized to the real life, just his size, shopping cart. I offered to check out while he took the tiny shopper to the car. As me and the
"Someone never heard of birth control. You can tell by the screaming child," the old man smugly says. "Mmmmmmhmmmm," replies the young girl. I stood there a minute. An honest ten seconds before what had just come out of his mouth processed to me. Then, I was flooded with a rainbow of emotions.I was hurt. I was shocked. I was angry. That was MY child. MY son. And MY parenting these complete strangers were referencing so callously. I began to say something. Once upon a time I would have. Once upon a time I would have had so many of my own opinions to offer in retort to his remark. Today, I stood in silence. I held my tongue knowing that no matter what I said to that man it would not change his view on the subject. Knowing that it was not my job to scold, or condemn him for his ignorance.
It made me think about all of the moms in the world. All of the ones, doing their absolute best at this very moment. All of the moms who find themselves on their knees at night, seeking God because of all of the failures they face. All of the moms who are trying while not knowing how to pray. The moms of two year olds facing a grumpy day. Or teenagers who are branching out and testing their independence. I thought of all of the moms who face this criticism on a daily basis because their child has autism.
It hurts. The judgment from a complete stranger really does hurt. But don't let it discourage you. Because if you are truly fighting for your child, none of those comments matter in the end. Nothing a child does makes his life any less valuable. Especially if those things are normal developmental things.
So maybe, as moms and dads, the next time we see a mom or dad trying their best in a store with a crying two year old, we can outstretch our love to one another. A kind smile. Or a sincere "we have all been there at one point." Maybe an outpouring of love will counteract the negativity that is in so many hearts. Let us lift each other up during this journey.