Wednesday, July 11, 2012
But, you still hit a rough patch here and there. It is just going to happen, good days and bad days, good mornings, bad afternoons, that's just how it is. So yesterday, when himself hit a rough patch in the middle of the craft room at the museum, I wasn't really surprised. The line-up to get in had been long, there were automatic flushers in the bathroom, several little things that had just Added Up. To the untrained eye the meltdown came from nowhere, but a mom's eye had seen the little path silently laying its stones.
I quickly removed him from the area, looking for a quiet place on a nearby bench. I was acutely aware of the tourists sprinkled about, wondering what kind of impression I was giving them of the place. I knew my window to turn this around was small, I needed to be calm to bring the calm. I wanted this to work.
Suddenly I became aware of an older gentlemen standing next to us, he'd emerged from the group on a neighbouring bench. I braced myself for unsolicited advice, criticism, whatever. It took a moment for my eyes to see what my boy saw in a flash, in his hand he was holding out a candy. "Only if it's okay with your mom.", he said, his voice friendly, full of the peaceful tones we both needed so badly.
In a blink, the situation changed. The candy helped Aiden get "unstuck", it pulled him from the whirlpool of the meltdown. I thanked the man.
But I could never really thank him enough. For instead of seeing a child "misbehaving" he decided to see a child who needed a little help. Instead of seeing a mom who couldn't handle her child, he saw a mom who needed a little help too.
I've been in this situation before, too many times to count over the years. Sure your skin grows thick, but let me assure you, it is a distinct feeling of aloneness when you are amongst a sea of other people. Others who don't get it, or who seperate themselves from it. How do they do this? Through nasty looks, or caustic indifference.
So thank you kindly gentleman. For giving my boy and me the benefit of the doubt. For not being afraid to get involved, for the gentle voice and the candy in your pocket. Something so simple, and so sweet.