Sometimes I forget how blessed I really am. Especially during the holiday season when stress is higher and patience is running thin.
Standing in line this morning getting groceries at Superstore, I was feeling like a rung out wet rag. I was having trouble coping shopping with all 4 of the kids and having no shopping cart room for the actual groceries when two kids wanted to ride and another whose sensory issues were getting to him and had decided to play the slam game.
There is no controlling a child with autism. After the third time of slamming into the lady ahead of us… I offered an apology and explanation. That Michael had autism and didn’t understand personal space. My fingers were crossed that I could just keep smiling and that we would make it out of the store without a full meltdown.
There is an ever present fear in the back of my mind that someone will cause a scene and tell me off for my lack of parenting skills. That is one of those horror scenes that plays through my mind and where I wish the floor would open up and swallow me. I don’t think I could stand the embarrassment.
I took a deep breath and waited for the tongue lashing, but to my surprise the lady smiled and told me, “Don’t ever apologize for the way he is! It’s ok!”
And just like that tears were swimming in my eyes. Blinking rapidly to keep my fragile self control together – I smiled and turned away. That wonderful lady offered me an olive branch.
Sometimes I feel as if the weight of this world is upon my shoulders. Then the kindness of a stranger forces me to accept life again and move on. To stop having a pity party and smile with gratitude instead.
I remember an audio I heard a while back of Les Brown’s where he says, “Life happens to everyone. Stop telling everyone the same old story – 80% don’t care and 20% are glad it’s you.”
With that – I have to continue to remind myself that everyone walks their own battle every day. Life happens. It is how we respond to those events that shape our attitude and our feelings. I am grateful today for the kindness of one lady’s words. Her heart of compassion and acceptance made me realize that it’s okay when life hands you lemons. Make the most out of it. Don’t let your circumstances define who you are.