Today was one of those days that make you think as a mother. You know….where you wonder if you are making the right decision as a parent?
It all started when I picked up the Drama Queen from work…yes, she is old enough to have a job now. Unbelievable! Anyway, we were on our way to the store, when we impulsively decided to stop and have a bite of lunch. While there, she of course, ordered way too much food because her eyes are bigger than her stomach. So, she packed it all up and away we went.
As we pulled into Wally world, a man walked by her window with a bag of freshly made tamales. (Ok…please, this is not a political post, so no comments, thank you!) It startled her and I heard her say something excitedly to me. It took me a moment, and then I realized she was yelling, “Tamales, mom!” (Yes..we are one of THOSE people, who love to buy fresh tamales from a Walmart parking lot!) Suddenly, I heard myself exclaim, “I love Walmart parking lot tamales!” as we jumped out of the car. I used the little Spanish I knew and headed into shop and get some cash.
We quickly made our purchases and headed out, only to hear her exclaim, “Mom, he’s being arrested!”
And it went downhill from there. She was so sad, wanted me to talk to the officer and see if I could help him out. Now, as an adult, I know better than to walk up to an arresting officer and start up a conversation, and we did have a good conversation about soliciting and why it is illegal and health code and her brother’s bout with ecoli….so yes, we honestly do get it. But still, we drove out of there with a heap of sadness on our hearts, feeling helpless to help someone who obviously could use a good samaritan about that moment. And I wondered to myself, how could I have handled it differently, could I have done something….what kind of message was I sending to my teen?
And as we pulled around the corner, we pulled up next to a homeless man standing in the rain with a sign that read, “Help me!”
Immediately, she reached down to her box of still warm leftovers and instructed me to roll down my window and hand him her remaining lunch. Which I did, and to which he immediately thanked us profusely and tore open the box and began to scarf it down.
Here’s the thing…I am not writing to say, “Look what we did today.” But it really got me to thinking…and it brought back to mind the many instances where my children have stopped me to pray with a stranger or have jumped out of a car to help someone who has fallen out of their wheelchair in the middle of the road. The times we have made up bags to pass out to the homeless who stand on the street corner, collect and deliver blankets to those who sleep on the streets in the cold, or to purchase a card for the widow across the street so she knows someone cares about her.
Sometimes my children notice things that may hurt them to see and it makes my mama’s heart sad for them; but it also opens them up to the possibility of making a change; or helping someone; of having compassion and a heart to serve when these situations might otherwise go unnoticed.
And I am grateful on days like today when I second-guess myself as a parent, that the opportunity arises for me be reminded that I must do some things right, because I have amazing children that do not hesitate to put others before themselves. But more importantly, do not hesitate to notice those that could use a little encouragement as they go about their day.