Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The unexpected that will make your whole day...

As I begin to recover from from a serious bout of pneumonia, I'm also learning how to be with a toddler again. Between grandparents taking her for days on end and the last few evenings spent as "family time", today was the first day in a week and a half that it was just me and my girl. 

I won't lie. I was nervous when I got out of bed this morning. Would I have enough energy to keep up with her? Will I have the patience to deal with her tantrums and fussy food choices? Will I get a break today from the punching and kicking (our home has now become a zero tolerance household for hitting)?

After a morning of sitting on the kitchen floor sharing "tea", laughing at the breakfast table and dancing to the radio, my sweet and thoughtful girl - who was full of smiles and giggles - and I went for a bike ride. 

I'm not sure if it was the cool air, the joy of being on the bicycle, or just the right amount of caffeine, but we swung, slid, and ran around in circles until our noses were red. 

Wanting to keep those caffeine levels up, I grabbed a coffee and another "tea" for P - it's water in a take out cup in case you were wondering) before we headed back home. We sipped our beverages while strolling along window shopping. Turns out my daughter doesn't mind shopping, or strolling. 

And THIS was when the most amazing thing happened. As Penelope and I are having a conversation about why she has to wait until we got home to eat lunch and I was unlocking ma bicyclette, I noticed this man sitting on the patio of the cafe - just looking at us. Seriously, just staring. 

He met my eyes, smiled and said, "You are a great mother!" Followed by an exceptionally stunned expression in which he was obviously surprised that he had blurted out the words. He then said pointing to the bike chariot, "I can just tell. You - You're a great mother."

To which I responded, "Thank you kind sir - you just made my whole day!"

I've been on the receiving end of harsh criticism from strangers who feel they know what's best for your child (it's a strange phenomenon we are all victim to, much like the horrible birth stories we hear from strangers while we're pregnant) I've never received such a compliment and biking home I couldn't help but marvel at how one sentence of kindness could erase the residual negativity that tends to get left behind after your parenting in public is judged. 

Lesson: Some days, NOTHING is as you expect it will be, and almost always it will be better.

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