Perfect Strangers

So, early this week I was under more stress than usual; tired out from separating fights all day, arguing over silly things with my husband, feeling frustrated, anxious, and exasperated.

On Tuesday, I took my son to an indoor play area called Billy Beez at Palisades Center (expensive but awesome!) after he had been begging for two days. Both kids fell asleep within 5 minutes on the car ride home  (This fact alone may be enough to convince me to go there every day!)

After a few hours of running around exhilarated and breathless, we stepped out to eat lunch that I had packed- rice, seaweed, fruits, and acorn jello (sounds weird, tastes DELICIOUS). I settled us in at the closest table and chairs I could find, sharing the space with an elderly Korean couple and a middle aged woman. The elderly couple took one look at me feeding my toddlers and sang my praises: “You’re such a good mom”, “You’re such a great wife”, “You’re doing a wonderful job”. It was incredibly surprising and unexpected since I had never seen them before in my life and all they had seen of me was me strolling my children over, sitting them down, and feeding them. I’m not sure why they were so impressed! Maybe they are just unusually complimentary and sweet and have a knack for seeing the good in people. We chatted about our families, raising children (they have two), cooking, working, etc.

It was just what I needed. Two complete strangers to validate me. To look me in the eye with such genuineness and warmth and tell me I’m a good person doing a good job in life. I half thought they were angels sent to comfort me. The grandmother assured me that everything with my family would keep getting better over time and that we would live well and be really happy, just like her own children and grandchildren were. Obviously they have no way of actually knowing this to be true, but it was such a nice gesture.  We both said our “God bless you”s and the kids and I were on our way.

Little old man and woman from the mall, wherever you are, THANK YOU. Your simple, genuine encouragement meant more to me than you may ever know.


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