The Kindness of Strangers

When I posted my last blog about the "meanie at the mall", I was shocked by how many mamas had experienced the exact same thing. That encounter was a first for me – never before had I been so openly criticized by a complete stranger. I certainly get some funny looks when I’m out with my crew, but never has it been the stink eye (that I have noticed, anyway!)

But the silver lining of this experience was that it made me reflect on the ridiculous number of kind people I have met during this crazy mama journey.

There are all those encouraging nods I get regularly from other mamas. There are the countless elderly women who surround me in a public place, showering me with compliments about how beautiful my kids are and how lucky I am to have them. I remember all the nice people who eat at the same restaurant as us and take the time to come over to comment on my kids’ good manners. I think about the server at that restaurant and how our food is brought out promptly and there is patience about our messy table. I remember the person at the public swimming pool who offered to hold the baby while I got the others ready for lessons. I think about that mom at the park who compliments my son for playing nicely with her children or my daughter for being able to pump her legs so well on the swings. I think about the dad at the ice rink who always laughs and plays with my little guy as his kids play hockey with my big kids. I remember other passengers on a flight with my puking toddler who were quick to help with the other children and grab paper towels, and pat me on the back for not completely losing my mind.

Last summer our family was out hiking and my son got way ahead of us. I wasn’t worried about it, until I ran into the situation you can see in the picture. I was horrified at the thought of him breaking up her meditation with “Hey! What are you doing sitting on that rock with your eyes closed?” My kids have a knack for ruining any peaceful moment.

As it turns out, he did interrupt her but it was an interruption that was welcomed. She explained meditation to him and invited her new friend to join in, which he did. As you can see from the picture, he was having a very Zen moment.

So, it made me realize that for every crabby meanie at the mall, there are a thousand “Good Ones”. Not a bad ratio, by my standards.

Have you encountered any strangers who have made your journey a little bit easier?

Picture of Julie Cole

Author: Julie Cole

Julie Cole is the co-founding vice-president of award-winning children's label manufacturer Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless entrepreneur awards. Cole is a regular television contributor, an influential and syndicated blogger and a mother of six. Follow her on twitter @juliecole and Instagram @cole.julie

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