A few weeks ago, I was walking through a local gourmet market with My Sailor and Beanie Girl. She started to cry, so I went and changed her diaper, but that only helped for a moment. It had been a long day out for a 6 week old (at the time), so I knew she was just over stimulated and just done. Which was fine, but we needed a few things before we ended up at home.
My Sailor left to expedite the process by getting the necessary shopping done, while I carried Beanie Girl in my arms, bouncing her gently and trying to get her to take her pacifier. For those few moments, I noticed people exiting the aisle quickly and generally avoiding the screaming baby. I didn't blame them one bit. I hadn't lost my cool, but it was obvious my nerves were frayed and we were both exhausted, despite the reassuring tones in my words to her.
She might as well have been screaming, "NEW MOM OVER HERE! ROOKIE AT WORK! SAVE ME FROM THE LEARNING CURVE PLEASE!"
Suddenly someone approached us. I was waiting for a well intended peice of advice at best, or reprimand at worst.
Instead, the lady smiled at us and asked how old she was. I told her, still trying to calm Beanie Girl down, "Almost 2 months."
I couldn't bring myself to look at the woman. I thought, "Here it comes," and steeled myself for more of the unsolicited critiques of my lack of mothering skills that everyone seems to love to dish out.
Instead, the lady surprised me, complimenting Beanie Girl on her lungs and good looks. She passed by us, saying, "And don't worry. She's not that loud."
And she left the aisle, without grabbing anything from the shelves.
An unexpected wave of relief washed over me, and I realized that THIS is what we need a little bit more of.
Sometimes a situation doesn't need to be fixed. (Sometimes, it can't be.) But I can't think of a time when encouragement has been unwelcome.
So, thank you, grocery store lady.
And Beanie Girl thanks you too.