This is not my typical story/ blog post. It's not about fertility or body work. It's not about spirituality. At least not directly. It's about life. Real life encounters, what we witness and what it means for us. Maybe everything we take notice of that is outside of us is really more than “the shitty world we live in.” Maybe it's a message. An opportunity for a lesson. To bear witness. I don't know, maybe not, but what if it is?
I was at the grocery store yesterday. I picked my son up from pre-school and we made a stop to get a few groceries for supper. As Atlas and I were walking in, there was another mama walking in with two little girls. One looked to be about Atlas' age, 5, and the other closer to 3. They were your typical toddler, bubbling with life and full of curiosity. It's something I've grown accustomed to. It's almost as if you can see their little bodies vibrating with all that energy that courses through them. Funny thing to always ask them to contain, isn't it?
Side thought: I may always find this perplexing: why are we so drained and dragging as adults and called to raise and guide these vivacious balls of light. Perhaps we are missing something here.
As we grabbed our carts and both parties made our way to the first section, the fresh fruit and vegetable section, the girls' mama had already had enough. From my outside perch I didn't notice any misbehaving, but that mama barked at them. Literally. It was loud and curt and intended to be noticed with the expectation of orders to be followed.
I caught myself in my head, judging that mom. “Settle down lady. Geesh. The poor babes.” We went about our business, checked our lists, paid for our goods, and exited the building. We happened to be loading our cars at the same time and I heard her again. That angry voice that was full of disgust. I looked up to see the two littles standing by the car, shoulder to shoulder like good soldiers, obeying the law laid out for them.
From my car, I sent over an encouraging wave at those two little cuties and made eye contact with their mom. In that moment, something changed for me. What I saw was so much more than what I had judged. I saw the exhaustion of life weighing on her. I saw the agony of the unknown future and the fear of doing it all wrong. I saw me. I wanted so much to get out of my car and go over to her. Let her know that I see her, as a woman, a human. Hug her and tell her it was all going to be okay.
That isn't what I did. Because that isn't really acceptable is it? Offering hugs to a stranger. Instead I handed out the consolation prize of a small smile. Hoping that it would communicate all that I felt. Knowing it would more likely come across as judgment, as she internally judged and shamed herself for once again falling short.
The moments that have followed for me have been a continuous lesson I am learning. I'm not really any different then her. I have lost my patience. I have been filled with those emotions of anger and fear and shame. Doubt and uncertainty. And I face them alone. I'm quite certain I've allowed the training of life to tell me to shut up about hardships.
I'm done with being quiet. I want you to know that I see you mama. I see you working it. Not always sure exactly what you are working, but worried that it will all just fall apart if you stop. It might be worth a shot though. To just stop. Get down on the level of the babes. Literally. What does the world look like from their viewpoint? It appears to be quite magical.
I promise myself to continue on this journey of discovery. Take a deep breath and witness my life and my son's experiences from an outside perspective. Choosing and then choosing again to always strive to teach him acceptance and unconditional love. Living what I teach. To learn from him that intrigue and joy for life. Simply living and breathing in all the wonder around us all.