Life With A 4-Year-Old
Anyone else have a kid that asks ENDLESS questions of strangers? I take Austyn to the grocery store now and she wants to know everyone's name, if they are having a good day and where they live. 😂
I remember one day when Austyn was just a baby, I went to the grocery store and, by the time I left, I WISHED the people I came into contact with had asked ME a question.
Nick was alive, though very unwell at home. I normally NEVER took my rings off... but that day, I had so that I could slather my little girl’s broken dry skin in a new lotion, trying to get her constant eczema to calm (took me years to find a REAL solution you guys - she doesn't have the issue anymore) and had forgotten to put them back on!
During checkout, an older lady in line behind me was cooing at Austyn, who I had strapped into the cart. I was grateful for the distraction while I placed our items onto the conveyer belt. I thanked the woman and turned around to pay, but not before hearing her whisper to her partner, “It’s sad how many young girls you see these days... walking around with sweet babies but no husbands. Pity.”
To be fair, she was quite a bit older, from the generation of people who didn't have to deal so much with 27 year olds dying from terminal cancers at "random."
ANND.... I might have looked a bit like a crack addict at this point. The nights of endless interruptions made me look tired as ever (because I was.... between endless feedings for Austyn and medications for Nick, I barely got an hour’s worth of sleep at a time... for months). 😵
I remember being appalled at the judgement. But, moreso, knowing that soon, her statement would be true. I would no longer have a husband. I would be a widow. And... What would be assumed of me then? When I went to birthday parties alone with my daughter? Registered her for schools without a father to enter on their forms? Took her to a new church or a new town without a man by our side?
What if, that day, instead of assuming, this woman had asked me instead?
The story she would have gotten would have been a far cry from the one she assumed. 💕
I think of this and other experiences (you guys should hear my story from when I lived in the Bible Belt of America as a single widowed young mom... thats one for the books) often. WHY? Because, I catch MYSELF assuming that I know how other people got to where they are. But, normally, I am quick to realize the mistake I've made... We just DO NOT KNOW other people's stories. No matter what we think we might know!!
What if, instead of assuming... we cared enough to ASK? And, then really listened.
Kids are great about this. If they are curious, they ask. If they aren't, they don't assume they know. 🙏 What a way to be!!
I'm striving to be more like Austyn. I'll ask. Otherwise, I won't assume I know. Because NOBODY would guess my story by looking at me.
Why the HECK would I think I could guess theirs?