19 September 2006

Karma

Last week when I went to pick up Big A from her gymnastics practice at 7:00 p.m., I was informed that there was a parent's meeting, that night, at a local hotel conference room, at 7:15. In a panic I called her dad, did he know anything about it, was he coming? He had forgotten to tell me, and no, he couldn't make it. I looked at Little A, all pink and perfect in her pajamas and at Big A, who was near a panic attack at the thought of neither of her parents attending. We got in the car and headed to the hotel. While driving, I was praying that Little A would make it through--she goes to bed at 7, and she needs to be in bed at 7, or else she gets a little wacky.

We got there, and I stood in the back of the room w/Little A while Big A went and played with her friends at the play area. I let Little A down in the back of the room to crawl around. She was enjoying demonstrating her great crawling abilities and I followed behind her as she wore herself out. She was being near saintly--not making a peep, just crawling. As we turned around and headed back to the other side of the room, there were two moms sitting on a couch, the volunteers that checked us in. One of them looked at Little A and than at the other and said, "I guess someone's never heard of a babysitter".

I'm not sure if it was because Eviction Day was the next day, or if it was because I'd been up since 4:15 a.m. and was exhausted, or because I was just so stunned that someone could be so bitchy, but I instantly felt the sting of tears in my eyes and picked up Little A and headed out the door. To the other mom's credit, she turned beet red when she realized that I'd heard her. I kept myself semi-composed until we got to the car, then I lost it.

Yes, I've heard of babysitters, they spend more time with my children than I do, and I actually pay them to do this. I've also heard of deadbeat dads, exhaustion, being at the end of your rope, and I've also heard of practicing kindness and empathy, apparently all topics that she missed. I wasn't proud that someone so little made me feel so small, but she did.
I went through the conversation that I would have with her the next time that I saw her:

"Do you know that I went home that night and cried all night"?
"Do you know that on that night, a night I could have used an ounce of kindness more than you could ever know, I could barely drive home because I was crying so hard"?

I won't have any of these conversations with her, I know this about myself, because I genuinely believe that for a person to treat another with such disregard and judgment, they must be pretty miserable themselves. And I'd hate the thought of me causing someone to walk blindly to their car in the rain and put their head on their steering wheel and sob like a baby in front of their children. That's what helps me sleep at night, even if I fall asleep crying.

6 comments:

Her Grace said...

Some mom's just love to judge. If it wasn't Little A, then it would be Big A's outfit or the woman would have picked someone else to pick on. It's ugly behavior. I'm sorry you had to be hurt by it.

Margaret said...

Some people! Some people just can't lift their heads out of their own situations for a moment to see someone else's. Bethany's right... it's ugly behavior.

R said...

UGLY AND CRUEL! AND SHE IS DEFINATELY AT THE TOP OF MY HIT LIST. SOMETIMES I THINK WE GET HURT BY SUCH THINGS BECAUSE A GOOD PERSON LIKE YOURSELF JUST CAN'T UNDERSTAND SUCH DISREGARD FOR ANOTHERS FEELINGS.

CONTINUE TO BE A GREAT, STRONG PERSON JENN!

I LOVE YOU!

Lauren said...

The fighter in me wants to go tell her off for you. Some people just don't know how to show compassion for others. She should have turned red and felt bad.

I am sorry that this unthoughtful person felt the need to judge rather than take notice of a cute little girl in her pink pj's not bothering a soul while her mom was supporting her other daughter.

People need to remember that other people have their owns lives to worry about. She had no right to judge you or anyone for that matter. I am sure eviction day played a part in your reaction.

YOU WERE BEING A GREAT MOM AND SUPPORTING BIG A BY BEING THERE FOR HER. EVEN WHEN IT WASN'T PLANNED YOU DROPPED EVERYTHING TO BE THERE.

As you can tell she got me all fired up. She better hope I never see her.....(even if I don't live near you or have any idea who she is) :-)

Emptyman said...

People suck. In any other setting you wouldn't take her advice on how to be a mom, so don't let things like that get to you.

mamalang said...

Awww...I just want to put my arms around you and pat your back. From what I can tell, you are an amazing mom...and there are a ton of reasons you might not have been able to get a babysitter. I would love to have been there sitting next to her...I really would have given her an earful! Chin up...you're doing a great job!