A few days ago my kids and I made a trip to the grocery store. It was around 5:30pm and the store was very busy with people. I had quite a few things on my list and knew it would take some time, and patience, before we would be finished.
On this particular day my son and daughter had a lot of energy. As we entered the store and started to collect items from my list in the produce section, they were laughing and chasing each other all over. They weren't really getting into any trouble, it's not like they were throwing food or anything. However at one instance my daughter did randomly bring me an apple, which was about the only thing not on my list.
I was starting to get concerned they were annoying the other patrons of the store. So, I put my daughter in the cart and my son sat below her on the bottom. I thought this would be the solution to their wildness, boy was I wrong! Now sitting directly above and below each other, they started poking one another. She would pull his hair, he would poke her leg and they laughed uncontrollably. I was starting to get frustrated but at least they weren't running around getting in other people's way, or worse, fighting.
As we finished up in the produce section a business man approached me. He looked a little stern and immediately my stomach dropped. I didn't know if he was going to scold me for my loud children or for the fact that I allowed my daughter to sit in the unsafe cart, I was sure it was one or the other. Instead, he said "Miss, I apologize if this is out of line or awkward, but I have something to say to you." I gulped, he continued. "I have had one heckuva day. It's been awful. But seeing and hearing your children laugh is just what I needed."
He must have noticed the shocked look on my face because he then said, "I'm serious Miss. Their giggles are just what the doctor ordered and I just wanted to thank you and tell you that." I responded by telling him how grateful I was that he took the time to come over and tell me how he felt and that I hoped the rest of his day went better. He said after hearing my kids his day was already better.
As we went our separate ways I actually felt a little guilty for having gotten upset with my kids and their fun behavior. Instead of being annoyed and concerned each time my children laughed I was now happy and my heart was warm. As we continued through the store I began to notice more and more people smiling at us rather than sneering.
Maybe some people get a little annoyed by kids, but for those people there may be nothing that can lighten their spirits. But if my kiddos can brighten the day for just one person, well, that just makes the grocery store trip a whole lot more fun for all of us.