Day 5: My Proudest Moment
What is up with these topics? Each one is harder than the last. I have had so many moments of pride that I’m positive I’ve earned a ticket on the express handbasket to Hell for committing that deadly sin alone. Which is saying a lot, since my middle name is Sloth and I own vacation property in Gluttony.
However, one particular incident stands apart from the rest because it wasn’t something that I accomplished, at least not directly. It was something my son did.
Once upon a time, in a galaxy really, really close by, my children and I found ourselves waiting for hours to retrieve my husband from a police station. He had be apprehended by the railroad cops – seriously – for doing something more stupid than unlawful, and because people with no criminal past take longer to process, it had been a long day for all of us. My daughter had gotten sick all over herself and my back seat, and my son and I needed to pee so badly that we were seconds from using the nearest squad car as a port-a-potty.
Despite all of this, there was another family in the waiting area that looked like their day had been even worse than ours. A harried young mother with her bedraggled son who couldn’t have been more than three huddled in the far corner of the station. She looked positively exhausted, and they had a garbage bag with them with might have contained everything they owned in the world for all we knew. The child never left his mother’s side, almost melting into her as if it was all he could do to hold back frightened tears.
My son saw them and asked me if I thought they were okay. I told him I didn’t know, but they looked tired and sad to me. He nodded absently and then, without another word to me, walked over to the child, spoke softly to him, and placed the McDonald’s toy he had gotten earlier that day in the boy’s hands. The child’s face lit up, and the mother thanked my son with a grateful smile. When he returned to my side, I asked him why he did that and he said, “I don’t know. I just thought I could cheer him up.”
That small gesture proved my worth as a mother. I might not always get it right, but by instilling compassion in my children, I’m making the world a better place through them. This was my proudest moment.
Come back tomorrow when I share my deepest fear. Here’s a hint: It’s not spiders. Probably.