I'm grateful for all forms of encouragement. It really is the maple syrup on the pancakes of life. In theory, you CAN have too much, but I haven't seen anyone reach that point yet...
I am grateful for the strangers at J.Crew this morning. I was returning one of the desperate failures in my bathing suit search and a pair of horribly-vanity-sized khakis. The girls were with me. HeyMama was a trooper. She didn't want to stay one millisecond extra, but could suck it up in anticipation of Easter Dress shopping at our next stop. MeToo was having none of it. She was whining, standing up in her stroller, and generally just being a punk. So I took her out and sat her on the floor between my legs so I could control her and finish looking through the clearance rack. Of course she tantrummed, and made a heck of a din. I was annoyed, and felt bad for the other shoppers. But they were all moms. They understood. I was holding my ground. I was not passing up a good bargain for a whiny child. The staff all smiled, one told me a funny story of a similar experience she'd had when her girls were little. One shopper smiled as she passed and said, "Been there!" The cashier commented on my patience. I had nothing but encouragement. It was amazing. Their encouragement bolstered my patience and ability to wait out my screaming 2 yr old. (Hmm, does this mean that shopping will help me be a better mama?)
The other encouragement came in the form of a few stories through Facebook (thanks Julie Bourgoin!). I'm a huge fan of Lutheran Social Services, including Ruth House and the work done with refugees in New England. In the midst of all of our grousing about the economy and rising gas prices, these stories show that the American dream is still alive and kicking. And that there are plenty of people out there who are still willing to face every challenge with a smile and rise to the occasion.
Check out the stories here:
Nepalese refugee inducted into Honor Society
Nepalese family works for self-sufficiency
My day's problems feel absolutely manageable in comparison. Don't yours?
If you want to help support their American Dream and that of others to come, consider supporting Lutheran Social Services. We need more families like the Rais and the Darjees to succeed.