Ah–I love it when my faith in humanity is restored.
When perusing blogs, I sometimes find blog posts written about how some random stranger yelled at a mom’s children or gave them all dirty looks for having 1600 children (when in fact the blogger has…two) or some other ridiculous story that makes me start to think none of it is true because who seriously runs into these people around every corner?!
In the seven years of having kids, I have MAYBE run into a handful of people who have been rude (O.B.’s and their nurses) or given my pregnant belly some stares while looking around at the rest of my kids with a disgusted look on their face.
It doesn’t happen often.
More often than not, we run into the good and decent people who have nice things to say.
Yesterday, while eating brunch with my parents at Cracker Barrel after Mass before they had to go back home, I noticed an older lady who kept staring at our table.
I caught on quickly and glanced around to see what the kids were doing. Was one picking his nose? Were they chewing with their mouths open? Were they being too loud?
Every time I glanced over at her table, she had her eyes fixed on our table.
At one point, she motioned to our table while talking to the waitress, and the waitress turned to look.
I MIGHT have started sweating at this point.
Were we going to get kicked out? Sure, B had thrown a few crayons on the floor, and I wasn’t able to reach them, but surely that wasn’t an offense that would get us kicked out…right?!
I finally quit glancing over at the table to save me some anxiety, and we all carried on with our meal.
After taking E to the restroom, the lady from the table was walking around the gift shop area and caught me by the arm.
I swallowed, nervously.
“Ma’am? I just wanted to let you know that you have the most adorable children, and they were some of the most well-behaved children I have ever seen.”
“Oh…wow! THANK you so much!” I stammered out.
“I’m sorry if I kept staring at your table, but it was just a pleasure to watch your family, and I just couldn’t get over how well-behaved they are.”
(At this point, E is melting into a puddle at my feet because I won’t let her grab every breakable object around us. Way to represent the good behavior, E.)
“I don’t even know what to say, but THANK you,” I told her. ”That totally makes my day!”
“Are they homeschooled by chance?” she asked.
“Um, yes, they are,” I told her.
“I knew it! I can always tell the homeschooled kids apart from kids who are not schooled at home. Their manners and behavior are always better,” she said. ”And the way they’re dressed–the boys in their little suits. I just knew you were a family who went to church, and that is so great.”
“Oh, thank you! That’s so nice of you to say!”
“I even told our waitress to please go over to your table and tell you that we were just so impressed by their behavior, but I don’t think she ever did,” she said.
(Oh, so THAT was what the convo was about with the waitress!)
“Anyways,” she continued. ”My grandmother lived to be 96 years old, and I just know she would have complimented you on how well-behaved they were, so I felt like I should say something, too.”
“Well, I can’t thank you enough!” I said. ”There are some people today who view children as a burden rather than a blessing, so it’s just so awesome to hear someone say something so nice. I wish everyone would have the courage to compliment moms–it’s what we need to hear!”
(E still crying in a puddle at my feet showing off her very bestest behavior. Atta girl.)
We parted ways, and I went back to the table to tell the kids about the incredible compliment they got on their behavior.
A few moments later, the woman’s son tapped me on the shoulder.
“Here. My mom wanted you to have this,” he said, handing me a calendar that read “Mom’s Family Calendar.”
“Are you serious?” I asked. ”She didn’t have to do that!”
“She wanted you to have it,” he said.
I headed toward the gift shop area to try and catch her before she left and thanked her.
“My husband told me I should get it when I was looking at it,” she explained. ”But I thought, ‘Hmmmm…I know someone else who could REALLY use it with that beautiful family.’”
I thanked her again, told her how much her kinds words meant to me, and we parted ways.
Before going, she introduced herself as “Jeanette.”
If you think of it, please say a little prayer for Jeanette. She was a wonderful woman who went out of her way to compliment a family she didn’t even know–on something like behavior at a breakfast table.
As a mom, we sometimes get so caught up in the little things–the crayons on the floor, the fact that B just chucked a piece of pancake across the table to let me know he was done, the fact that D was trying to drink the syrup out of the bottle rather than pour it on his pancakes.
If we had time to step back, though, and really analyze the situation, it really isn’t as bad as we probably think it is. People like Jeanette have reminded me of that.
So, for every person out there who says something rude or for every person out there who just seems to bump into the worst people EVER…all…the…time, there are people like Jeanette who restore my faith in humanity, and I would rather focus on the positive people than the negative people.