saving my life: the solidarity of strangers.


I am not going to get into the miscalculations I made that caused me to have to carry my screaming child out of Target upside down on Wednesday. Let’s just say that I have learned the hard way: snow day excitement + hot chocolate + toy department at Target = horror show and humiliation for parents. Be ye not so foolish.

There was an adrenaline rush that has caused me to block out some details, but I do want to give a shout-out to the lady in the checkout line who saw me and, instead of averting her eyes, looked right at me and raised her fist in solidarity as I hauled Atticus out the door. Lady, I do not know you, and I will never go to that Target ever again, but your kindness did not go unnoticed. I will pay it forward the next time I see a parent wrestling with a howling child. (At a different Target, because did I mention that won’t be returning to that one?)

After some calming down and some apologies, we made up by reading about another kid’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I needed someone to remind me that we are all doing the best we can (even Atticus, poor fella, surely did not lose his mind on purpose). The gesture of solidarity from a stranger helped me find that grace for us both and is what is saving my life this week.

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  1. Terry Bernardini

    Oh how I remember those days! I literally dragged my first, Emily, through a parking lot. She was screaming for all to hear and no doubt wonder what horrors awaited her, “I HATE going home!” Now, with her own two-year old who has a penchant for throwing everything, I can only say, “It gets better.”

    Posted 1/23/2014 at | Permalink
  2. Brandi

    I just love this so much. Fists of solidarity for everyone.

    Posted 1/23/2014 at | Permalink
  3. Heather

    I hear ya sister! Fists of solidarity!

    Posted 1/24/2014 at | Permalink
  4. Deanna

    Fists of solidarity!!! Been there, done that, and not afraid to go back to Target.

    Posted 1/24/2014 at | Permalink
  5. Haha… Love this. I’m going to have to remember that for next time I see a parent wrestling with a little one. Solidarity.

    And may I just say, I appreciate the way you handled the situation — by removing him from the setting (I can’t tell you how many times I have spent the entire hour at the grocery market listening to the same kid cry at the top of his/her lungs… I sympathize, but my ears!), and most especially, explaining to him that we all have no good, very bad, horrible day sometimes.

    Posted 1/24/2014 at | Permalink
  6. Peg Rockel

    Andrea forwarded this to me, I think because she realized that I would applaud your parenting, but perhaps also with the knowledge that SHE was the one I dragged out of stores and restaurants and the one who once explained to me that I was “not the faiwest in the land.” It does get better!

    Posted 1/24/2014 at | Permalink
  7. Michaeline

    I once had to tell a perfect stranger that after she had walked a mile in my shoes, she could comment on my parenting of my temper tantruming child. I had two screamers (out of three children) and some days I just wanted to lock myself in my own room in time-out. Today, I have three adult children who got over the public tantrums and may one day have little ones of their own. I can say, with complete confidence, “It gets better.” 🙂 (Oh those poor little overworked baby nerves. Bless his heart!)

    Posted 1/24/2014 at | Permalink
  8. Barbi

    Do I get to tell about my little niece that I had to pick up and carry out of a Carter’s baby clothing store. She was screaming “NO, NO, I WANT MY MOMMY. YOU CAN’T TAKE ME!” To this day, I wonder why no one stopped us and asked me who I was and why I was taking her out.
    Sometimes things are not as they seem. You did and do a great job with Atticus.

    Posted 1/25/2014 at | Permalink

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