Hello, I was going to write a Bon Voyage message today because I will be going on my cruise vacation tomorrow. But something happened yesterday and I feel the need to write about it.
I took Natalie for a doctor’s appointment yesterday and while we were sitting in the waiting room I saw this cute and energetic little boy. I could see that he was different, although I wasn't sure why. But I also saw that he was quite adorable and I loved his bubbly personality. He was dancing around the waiting room, without his shoes, and he was humming a tune. His mom did not seem bothered and I was quite entertained watching him. He was making Natalie smile, so I immediately liked him. But soon after, a family walked in and sat down. The mother was very serious and when her little boy took off his shoes in order to join in the dance his mother screamed, “Luke! Put on your shoes! I will not have you prancing around like a crazy kid without his shoes! Sit down and don’t move.” Her little guy immediately complied. But I saw how this hurt and embarrassed the dancing boy’s mother. She quickly retrieved her son and put his shoes on and asked him to sit. He looked so sad and I felt so sorry for him. He was squirming and was starting to cry and he seemed uncomfortable in his shoes. He managed to finally take them off and he started to dance again. The other (the serious) mommy shot him a stern look and then looked at his mother in a disapproving manner. The dancing boy’s mommy was clearly embarrassed and stressed. She yelled at her little boy to put his shoes on and behave -- but he kept dancing. I am sure that the looks from the disapproving mother weighed heavy on her and she was clearly ashamed and maybe even felt guilty about not being a “good mother.” She got up, slapped her little boy’s hand and yelled at him. She forced him into his shoes and made him sit. He cried and I could see tears flowing down his mommy’s face. I decided that I needed to do something because this situation was breaking my heart and it just didn't seem fair. I sat next to the mommy and quietly said, “Hey, it’s ok. I don’t think your little guy has done anything wrong. In fact, I was coming over here to thank you him for making my little girl smile. Usually, the waiting area is so boring and time goes so slow, but thanks to your your little boy we were very entertained and happy. If you don’t mind, I’d like to play musical chairs with him and Natalie and if it’s okay, we would like to take our shoes off, because clearly we all dance better without shoes.” She smiled and seemed relieved. She agreed to let Natalie and I play with her sweet little boy. We took off our shoes and I put some of the children’s chairs together and played a musical tune on my cell phone. After a quick demonstration we started to play and quickly he and Natalie understood the game. We all laughed and soon, even the reception staff was clapping and cheering us on. Other kids joined in and we were having a grand time! Meanwhile, the disapproving mommy asked to use the restroom, she was buzzed inside the office and we never saw her or her son again. As the rest of the kids played I sat with the dancing boy’s mommy to watch them and I told her that we have to pick our battles and that, in my opinion, this wasn't one of them.
So what if our kids want to play in the rain? So what if they get muddy while playing outside or get sand in their shoes while at the park? They are smiling, they are happy and they are making fun memories. That is what matters. I’m not saying that we should not teach or discipline our children; I’m just saying that we need to pick our battles. We shouldn't let someone else impose their ideas or rules on us.
It is so easy to turn a sad or bad situation into a positive one if we just show a little compassion; just a kind word or act can help another person and in bigger ways than you think. So I challenge everyone to please, show your human side each day. We are all connected in some way. Let’s not judge, let’s not criticize. Instead, let us show mercy and empathy. We can all relate to any situation in some way or another. Let’s use that to bring a smile to someone each day. One simple act can change everything, let’s make it a positive act.
Thank you for visiting me today and Bon Voyage until the 12th!