Picture from another Friday morning shop last year.
Something happened in the supermarket yesterday.
I’d popped in after Monty and Betsy’s dance class to fill our empty fridge. It’s one of those slightly ill-advised times to be shopping; the children are tired after a long dance session and the clock is ticking ever closer to lunchtime. Yet we needed food if lunch was to be served so on we went.
Monty decided we should be buying spinach halfway down the cheese aisle so around we turned and to the vegetable aisle we returned. Then, in the moment that he spotted the spinach and raced forward to grab it, his boot caught on the floor tile and he pitch forward into the barrier on the corner of the stand.
I don’t need to tell you how he sobbed and begged to go to bed for you to imagine the scene. Quickly staff were around us asking if we needed first aid, how he fell and making him howl all the louder.
But this isn’t what happened in the supermarket yesterday. No, this is what came first.
When the sobbing was done, the forms were filled and the staff were gone, we still needed our spinach. We held hands, we chose spinach, we had a quiet chat about how he was feeling. And while this happened a lady shopping nearby approached us.
This isn’t anything out of the ordinary; people regularly stop to chat to the children and tell me how lovely they are or how much they love their clothes. But today it was me who was under the gaze of a fellow shopper.
She stopped me and told me how much she admired the way I spoke to my children. How she found it so rare that someone was treating their distressed child with respect and kindness that she felt the need to comment. “You’re doing a good job with them.” she said.
I blushed my way through a thank you and another person added their two pence worth; affirming these words. And on our way we went, filled up with the kindness in what had been said.
But this isn’t the point of my story.
As I went on with my shopping, bundled the children under their blankets in the car and drove home those words kept turning over in my head. It took me a while to pinpoint what it was that had me thinking about it.
Gradually it dawned on me that this was possibly the first time someone had stopped me to give me specific feedback on how I care for my children. Sure, I get complimented on their behaviour or appearance a good deal but I can’t remember another time someone was telling me that how I act was important.
That small act of noticing and caring enough to tell me about it was golden. And I’m telling you about it because wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all did it? Maybe even just once, took a moment to tell someone else they are doing a good job and that you appreciate it.
Something happened in the supermarket yesterday and I’m passing it on with love.