The kids and I had gone to Sam's to pick up a few things. We had stopped at the food court to pick up pretzels for lunch...my plan was to add some cheese and fruit when we got home. Some days we do a VERY simple lunch and today just felt like one of those days. After getting our pretzels, we headed to the van to load up. As we approached the van, the spot next to us was empty...I was thankful because it would allow me to get the kids in without having to squeeze between cars. As one of the kids was getting in, Sophie noticed this big, white suburban backing up and brought it to my attention. I thought the person would stop and allow the kids to finish getting in, but he didn't. He just kept backing up...not quickly...but definitely no indication that he was going to stop and let me get the kids in the van and move our cart. He got so close to me that I couldn't even get the cart to the back to unload it. When he realized that he was going to hit the cart, he did pull forward enough for me to get the cart around the back. I just stood there in amazement! There was a lady who saw all this happening, and she rolled down her window and told me she wanted to apologize for the man being so rude and to let me know that there was no reason for him to have acted that way. I thanked her after she told me to stay safe. After she pulled away, I noticed that there was a spot just across the way in the next row...he didn't have to drive around to the row...he just needed to pull forward. I just stood in amazement!!! As I was getting back in the car, Josiah asked, "Mom, why was that lady apologizing to you?" I explained to him that she was apologizing for the way the man was acting. He then asked me, "Why was he being so impatient and not being a gentleman?" I stood in amazement!!
I have NEVER done this, but today I did something that is totally out of my introvert comfort zone. I wrote a note and left it under this man's windshield wiper. It said:
Maybe next time you could show a mom with four kids a little more compassion and allow them to get safely into their car before thinking about getting into "your" spot...it would have been the gentleman thing to do. It is sad that my seven year old son asked me why you weren't being patient and being a gentleman. Signed "A Very Disappointed Mom"
As I put the note on the man's car, I stood in amazement!
On the way home, I was still upset about what had just happened. Has our society gotten so self-centered that a mom can't even put her kids in her car without worrying if the driver is going to hit them just so they can have a parking spot that is one row closer? Do I really have that rare of jewel in my husband being a gentleman...and teaching our sons to be gentlemen?
I could have gone on and on with my questions, but then the Spirit reminded me what Josiah had asked, "Why was he being so impatient and not being a gentleman?" I realized that in my own frustration that I never really answered Josiah's question. I didn't want to spend time focusing on why I thought the man did what he did. Instead, I wanted to focus on Josiah realizing that what the man was doing didn't seem right to him. So, we had a conversation about why it didn't seem right to him for the man to pull into the parking spot like he did...his answer...because it wasn't the gentleman thing to do. I asked him what it means to him to be a gentleman...his answer...to make sure that you treat people kindly...especially girls and kids. I then asked him what he would have done if he wanted that parking spot and he saw a mom with four kids trying to get in their car...his answer...I would have waited until they had gotten in the car safely...I would have rolled down my window to see if I could have parked my car...I could have found another parking spot. I just stood in amazement!!!
After we talked, I wanted to bring today's event back to Jesus. We opened our Bible and we read Matthew 7:12a:
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you." (NLT)
I am thankful that I didn't allow this event to ruin my day, but instead allowed Jesus to redeem the day. I am thankful I paused long enough in my rantings to hear the Spirit tell me to have a follow-up conversation with Josiah. And I am thankful that my initial standing in amazement on how this guy had acted was overtaken by standing in amazement on the young man Josiah is becoming.