Still pondering that woman from yesterday.
She was–maybe–young enough to be the age of my oldest, and I think that helped my reasonable-Mom reaction snap into gear. Raising four teenagers taught me not to take offense even when it’s intended because it means the kid is hurting badly and needs understanding and not taking it personally. And a firm guideline, definitely.
As I think back to a screaming 16-year-old, a soft answer in utter calm and love but utterly to the point, a slammed door, and, after two hours’ self-imposed cooling down, a complete angel reappearing who never kvetched about any of that again. One of my memorable moments of motherhood. Who knew that it would help get me ready for yesterday.
I marvel that this woman had happened to knit–and with the weather that had been chilly for May, had happened to choose that day to put on that one–that particular simple but unusual pattern that I could spot from a mile away where you get to the end of your shawl knitting on the diagonal and then drop stitches spaced just so all the way back down to the beginning. Clah-poe-TEE. A French-speaking designer.
I marvel at the timing. My unusual arrival time due to the schedule of the day paired with her departure time from Costco: seconds off and the whole thing never would have happened.
Frankly, I marvel at what she did, of course, but whyever she did it clearly had nothing at all to do with me. She was reacting to something that I represented to her, whatever it may have been in her history, and her choice of outfit made it so I could offer her an out: anybody who didn’t quite see what had happened could have thought we were just two knitters striking up a quick conversation with an implied compliment.
But the experience offered her a choice: if she’s any kind of a good person, then the starkness between her behavior and mine was a heads-up that she needed to confront whatever the source of her angst was that was causing her to lash out at complete strangers and to do better.
We’ve all had moments. We’re all human. Sometimes we simply need to see ourselves more clearly to find our way back up when we’re down, hopefully with the support of those around us.
She’ll never know it, but I’m rooting for her.
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