A Quick Story…

So we are right in the thick of things as far as moving. Last night after another exhausting day we decided to go to one of our favorite places in Flagler Beach. We took the golf cart there and I was excited to get some delicious fettuccine Alfredo. Its so big I can split it with two of my kids. So if you come to Flagler Beach, stay at our Airbnb rental and definitely go to Pasta Pasta.

Pasta Pasta is a little place right on the beach, very casual, and a great family restaurant. They have the best pizza in all of the world.

We are all dressed down a little, my husband just got finished changing his mom’s tires, one of my kids had to wear random clothes b/c of an “accident” and I was wearing the same thing as yesterday… not that any other this matters but I do try not to look like Hobos when we go out.

We walk in and my kids are excited. Unexpected dinners out are always fun ESPECIALLY when we take the golf cart and Gramma is with us. We get seated at our usual table and there is roughly 3-5 other tables already seated. Its a small place so seating is close together. I soon as I sat down my kid decided to drop his fork on the ground with a clatter. He was immediately told to be on his best behavior. Now, if ANY of you know my kids, they are saints at restaurants. They don’t get up and run around, they eat everything on their plate, they aren’t loud, and well just good always. We get compliments a lot, and ironically mostly in this restaurant.

The couple sitting next to us were maybe in their 60’s. About 3 minutes into us sitting there talking ( kids still being good but laughing at Grandma) I hear, ” Ughhhhhhhhh”
I turn towards the patron to my right and she looks me dead in the face, shakes her head, rolls her eyes, and again goes, ” UGHHHHHHH!!”

I looked at her square in the face, completely stunned. Baffled. Shocked beyond belief. Who is this woman? What have I ( or we) done to offend her SO bad, that she felt it necessary to scoff at me as if she stepped in gum?

I looked back at her again in disbelief and sure enough she was shaking her head again and her husband was staring straight at my sons. Then I hear her mutter ” Well it was quiet in here.”

Look, I totally understand. Ive been in that very restaurant with a kid that was screaming to the top of its lungs and the parents barely blinked. I was annoyed but I also know it could have just been “one of those days”. Kids are kids. Parents also parent differently. But in NO WAY would I have ever looked at them and been as blatantly rude as this woman. And if I must mention again, my kids weren’t doing anything remotely awful. They were talking to us and laughing minus one dropped fork.

I took a long breath, I looked at her again and as my eyes locked on hers, ” I tilted my head” kind of in a “whats wrong?” pose. She again rolled her eyes straight to my face.

I got that flare in my cheeks. That heat in our face when you are about to do something way out of your character and comfort zone. But I stopped myself. I took a mental picture of what was about to happen or could happen… I also realized in no way shape of form am I gonna let this witch of a woman ruin my wonderful dinner with my loving family. I was about to stuff my face with the best damn pasta in town.

I also asked myself, WWJD? Because hate is so often thrown around, and from this woman, totally uncalled for. If I say something back to her, its only gonna be in anger. So I’m gonna let it go. I don’t want my children see me or my husband blow up at this woman. I don’t want other patrons not to enjoy their dinner. Peace sometimes is the answer. Don’t get me wrong, it took everything in me not to stand up for my sons. It felt like a personal attack. Little does this woman know how wonderful and caring my whole family is. That we praise God every night before bed, that we care for others more than ourselves. That my boys are taught how to behave in public and to say please and thank you every time. We are polite to strangers, and we try to give more than we take.

Watching the news, its easy to tell that hate of all kinds runs rampant. What we do and how we act is more important in front of young children than we can ever know. How we raise our kids to react in stressful or meaningful situations will better them the next time they are faced with hardships. Being an aware parent, being good is important so our kids know to be good. These little moments while seemingly insignificant could have made an impact if handled differently. We live in a place where people, feeling pain, depression or anger lash out in unspeakable ways. Maybe we can’t cure the world of its pain, but as a parent I feel that what I teach my kids may be a determining factor in how they turn out. Its our responsibility to teach them and shape them.

If I could say anything to that woman, I’d just ask why? Why do you think its okay to be so mean? or perhaps from one of my favorite goofy songs, “Why you gotta be so rude?”.

Maybe she had a horrible day. Hell maybe she hates kids. Its not the first time I encountered this. The last time was on an 18 hour flight and the woman ended up telling me she hadn’t wanted to sit next to a kid but mine was wonderful. He was only 2.

This woman was only sitting next to me for 40 minutes. I don’t know what her problem was but Im proud of myself for not making it MY problem.

So, be kind people. Its not that hard.

**As she was leaving the restaurant she promptly looked back at us, shook her head once more to show her disdain for humankind and waddled off. ( look I’m a good person but I’m not perfect…)

Would love to hear your comments or stories! Has this ever happened to you?

how can you be mean to something as precious as this?

2 thoughts on “A Quick Story…

  1. I think you handled yourself with grace and intergtuary . Maybe the old farts learned a thing or two. If not they should keep their grumpy butts home. Or eat at the old folks home where they belong.
    As you know I have beautiful, loving, happy biracial children in my family. It would pain my heart to watch grown adults stare at them with dirty hateful looks and whisper. When the kids were small I resorted to asking them to sing my favorite song with me, “Jesus Loves The Little Children” ! I would stare in their vile faces as we sang. Most of the time they would recoile and look away.
    This worked for years, until one day last summer I had my 14 year old grand daughter, a loving child that is big and tall for her age, but still a little girl. We were in the mountains of NC where we have owned a vacation home for 18 years. ( I have found that the race equality is at least 30 years or more behind in my area.) She, I and my sister were having dinner in one of my favorite restaurants when a couple in their early 40s, late 30s stared and whispered from the moment we were seated until Olivia was upset and hurt. She asked to be moved and I said no, that we need to address such rudeness. We started with our song, they only snickered… the woman continued to make Olivia her main focus, each time I caught her I would stare her down with the lioness ready to pounce look, she would look away but I swear he would take over and just stare me down! So then my sister would turn around and stare at them too. It was Unbelievable! I felt I had to teach Olivia to deal with this harassment and not to back away. She must grow to be a lioness too, until then I and my sister showed her she can do it.
    I love children dearly, I hope I never find discomfort in their precious faces, courisisity, laughter and the joy they bring to life.
    Too bad those rude grumps will never allow themselves that joy even for a few minutes. Their loss honey, as you know I adore your boys from afar!

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