Monday, October 8, 2012

day 7: what you might miss

I got my first real experience with the mean mommy group today.  No, I'm not a mom; but when I take my Goddaughter out, people assume that I am.  It gives me an interesting perspective, people treat moms different and not always in a good way, for reals.  When I found out I was going to have Little Miss today, I began planning to watch and learn lessons in sweetness from the two-year-old perspective.  I know I'm partial, but she really is a sweet girl.  I had no idea, though, that I would have such a tremendous opportunity to both practice and observe sweetness in action in the adult world also.

It just so happened that I was watching my little charge on a whim today and so I'll gladly take the I'm-Not-The-Mom Caregiver of the Year Award for taking her to not one, but two fast food chains to eat over the course of my eight hour shift.  She's apparently not a fan of left over chili, one hotdog was not enough, and it sorely broke my heart to watch the child happily eating ketchup with a spoon asking for chicken.  And so we ate chicken nuggets and fries and played in fast food play places twice today in two very different parts of town and had two remarkably similar experiences.

In both establishments, I got snubbed by the cool-mom groups.  As both groups clearly ignored my existence, one maybe a little more blatantly than the other {it was probably my failure to choose to wear yoga pants and rain boots out in public that sealed my fate there}, I made the powerful observation that both groups were also ignoring their kids.  There were, however, a handful of moms {three to be exact} who seemed interested in monitoring their kids' play and those were precisely the moms with whom I had the pleasure of exchanging a simple smile.

As I expected, it was the kids who demonstrated the purest sweetness.  The younger the child, the more likely he or she was to interact with a new person in a welcoming way.  When I let LM play on the play place with the bigger, more rowdy kids {I know, I know, as if the food wasn't bad enough...} it was the youngest of the kids who stopped to acknowledge her and even gently guided her out of the way of the bigger kids who clearly did not see her.

When LM walked into both play places, she was cautious but determined to play.  She wore a smile and was clearly perfectly content to play with a new kid or by herself.  And as I sat and enjoyed watching her play I was reminded that if I would have taken the time to have been angry or hateful about being snubbed, I would have missed the sheer joy of that lovely little girl's sweetness.

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