Have you ever witnessed something that restores your faith in humanity? I did. I was recently waiting to get my hair cut and witnessed a sea of kids coming in who were terrified to climb into one of those big chairs. Instead of getting irritated by all the noise, the other adults in the salon were going out of their way to try and calm these kids and help their harried parents.
It was amazing.
This day reminded me of all the wonderful people who see kids struggling, who see parents at their wit's end, and go out of their way to help. They're willing to stop and give up a of some of themselves in order to make a child smile, stop crying and give the parents a chance to catch their breath.
There were many times I was in a tangle with my kids in a store but I didn't have a choice—I had to get diapers or food or tampons—and a sales associate would come up to us with a balloon or a sticker and save the day.
I can't even count the number of times we dipped into a restaurant when my kids were tiny and a waiter saw they were getting antsy and throwing their toys on the floor and magically knew how a simple packet of crackers and a smile was all they needed to make it until our meal arrived.
I could always count on the people behind the deli counter to give my kids a slice of cheese while trying to make it through the rest of the grocery store—it was all I needed to feel like I could make it through the trip.
We may not always have the words, time, or hands to thank them properly, but it is so very appreciated.
We all have to get out of the house even when we're positive our kids aren't going to cooperate and shit might hit the fan. But our well-being is important, too.
So, when a stranger comes up to you in a public place and sees you—really sees you—and stops what they're doing to try and make your day better, it's something us drowning moms don't take lightly. We may not always have the words, time or hands to thank them properly, but it is so very appreciated.
To all those amazing people out there who have decided it was more important to try and soothe an upset child instead of keeping their place in line: Thank you.
To all the hairdressers that could have said, "I'm sorry but I just can't cut your child's hair when they are acting like this," but instead knelt down and talked to them in a gentle voice: Thank you.
To all the service workers who handed out a little extra treat, and took the time to stop at the table and chat: Thank you.
To all the strangers who offer to return your cart, grab the highchair for you and stand there a little longer so they can get the door when they see your hands are full: Thank you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.