I'm continually amazed at the strangers that choose kindness in those moments. The strangers that smile and wave when she toddles down the aisle at the grocery store. Yes, she just cost them an extra minute, but they gave that to us without asking for anything in return. The stranger that yelled "Y'all are family goals" at an Aggie tailgate. To be noticed as a family that seems to have it together when we feel like a mess - means everything. The strangers that played peek-a-boo with my daughter so my husband and I could eat lunch even though it meant waiting to eat for them. For every insensitive comment and glare, there are ten strangers smiling at me saying "You've got this". To those people I'm forever grateful, because even though I don't need their permission - having those smiles and kind words mean that I can be the patient and empathetic mom that I want to be. I can take that extra minute to let her try walking on her own and enjoy that moment without feeling like I have to scoop her up inciting fury as I run out of the store. I can take that extra minute to see if a quick round of Ring around the Rosy will soothe her tears.
They say "it takes a village". I've never felt the depth of that comment until now. Thanks to my village.