Friday, November 16, 2007

Don't Know What to Say

I am not a fan of going shopping on my own with my 3 kids. However, sometimes that just CANNOT be avoided. Like today. Kevin is going on a Scout Camp Out tonight and needed a sleeping bag. (We are seriously lacking in the Camping gear department. We now own a lantern and a sleeping bag...that's it.) Leah's birthday is next week and so is Thanksgiving, supplies were needed. And OFCOURSE we needed to make our weekly trip to Sam's Club.

The kids did really well at the first two stores so at Sam's they got to have a pretzel as an afternoon snack. Leah and Mason got long pieces and I broke Owen's up into smaller pieces. I got every one situated and then started shopping while they were thus distracted. But today must be a lot of people's pay days and next week MUST be a holiday 'cause it was CRAZY in there!!! And there I am pushing my 2-seat stroller and pulling a shopping cart through the chaos of the Holiday Shopping Season that is descending upon us all.

I was pushing and pulling through a slightly crowded corridor when Owen turns around in his seat and gives me a look I have become quite familiar with as of late---he was choking! I had to stop right in the middle of the aisle to save my son from choking. It took 2 swipes of my finger to the back of his throat to clear his breathing passage. He coughed once and then was fine.

BUT behind me was a different story. As I turn around I find one woman gently trying to move the shopping cart that Leah is in, and another standing by saying, "That's what happens when you have too many kids."

I was shocked into silence. I couldn't think of what to say except to the woman who was trying to get by, "I'm sorry ma'am. My son was choking." That woman understood the situation and asked if he was "ok". The woman who had spoken out seemed to be shocked into silence. She spoke before she understood the whole situation I hold no malice toward her. I re-learned an important truth: Never pass judgment--especially without knowing every point of view.

On a positive note, there was a nice gentleman who works there that saw what happened and gave me paper towels to clean off my hands and Owens face. I could tell he was genuinely concerned for Owen and myself. I am grateful for his concern and his parting words to me, "Some people just don't know what to say."

May I always be a help to those around me and not a deterrent.


Josh said...

I can't say I'd have the same attitude after initially going through that experience. But I think it's true, we can't point fingers and say things when we usually do not understand the situation. And even when we do there are much better ways to speak than sharply.

About the woman, she doesn't know the blessings of having three beautiful children. I've only had a taste so far in my life, but I know it's worth pushing three carts through Sam's Club no matter how many cutting remarks you may get.

merrilykaroly said...

I think it's amazing what people think about having children....

But I think I also pass judgment on people so quickly when I don't even understand the situation. Really nice post.

Joni said...

Wow. I am shocked into silence too. I will definitely take this to heart -- you NEVER know the situation and so it's better to be generous and helpful, not critical.

Corinne said...

I just would never think to say something like that. Maybe it's because I'm a mom myself, but, really, I don't think I would've said that before I had kids either. Sad for her.

Jenni said...

That was just not nice. Wow. But I am so glad that Owen is okay - as many times as Nina seems to choke on things it's always so scary in the moment.

amberacottrell said...

I can't believe she said that! Well I can and I am sorry you had to hear that at a moment of panic. Glad everyone is okay and you are a tropper!