Today had lots of not-as-planned moments. Nothing bad, just lots of on the fly adjusting. As 6PM approached and I STILL hadn’t made it to the grocery store, I started to feel frustration with the day. The last thing I wanted to do at 6PM was go to the store. But for some reason these people that live in this house expect meals. And toilet paper. So to the store I went.
As I walked up to the cart corral (is that really a thing? I don’t know what you call it), a sweet young mom with 2 small children approached. I stepped back to let her get a basket. Because a mama with a 5ish year old and 5 or 6 month old wants to be done with that nonsense even faster than I do. I commented on how cute her little guy was (because y’all, he was beyond) as she placed his carrier in the front of the basket, then turned to get my cart.
Tonight I didn’t bring my purse to the store. Not at all normal for me. Just my wallet, phone and keys (this really is an important detail). As I pulled my basket out and turned to head into the store, it happened. That carrier holding that sweet baby boy flipped right out of that cart. As it hit the ground on its side, that precious baby fell out onto the ground.
Baby screamed, mama screamed and I apparently threw my wallet, phone & keys on the ground and abandoned it all to run the few yards between me & them. Mama had scooped baby up, I started gathering blankets that had fallen and an older woman inside the store came over and picked up the carrier. As I tried to comfort that sweet mama, I made eye contact with a scared & confused big brother who had no idea what was happening. I called him over to be by his mama. We all moved into the store and a little more out of the way. I stood and cried with that mama because my mama heart immediately imagined it being one of my babies when they were that small.
Within a few short minutes, that felt like hours, the baby had gone from crying to smiling. Somewhere in all of that, a gentleman tapped me on the shoulder. He must’ve seen all that went down as he walked through the parking lot because he had my basket, my phone, my wallet and my keys. Another few minutes passed as we all calmed down then all went our separate ways. I had to take a minute to pull myself together.
As I started my shopping, a few things occurred to me. Crisis, whether national or in the grocery store, can be an immediate unifier. I thought about the handful of people involved in this little crisis. Each one of us that pitched in was a different race than the mama & her babies (and were all different races as a group). Because a mama’s heart doesn’t see race, it sees a fellow mama in crisis and connects to that. No one criticized that mama or tried to tell her what she did wrong. Because every one of us as mamas has had that moment when something went wrong and we beat ourselves up with guilt. A man, who had no obligation to me, took the time to gather up my stuff, grab my basket and bring it to me. Because good people still seek to do good.
Crisis is one of those things that has such amazing power to bring out the best in all of us. Today, perfect strangers rallied around a mama who was in crisis. No one asked what they should do. No one questioned if they should. Everyone just rallied.
Can you imagine what life would look like if we didn’t wait for crisis to rally around and circle the wagons? What if, in the every day, we just loved each other in a way that always left us feeling supported and cared for? Conflict, complacency and so many other things can put distance between us and those we care about. Distance that sometimes is only bridged when crisis hits. What if just decided today to rally? Just because we love each other.
That sweet baby? I ran into them a bit later. That sweet baby boy smiled & laughed at me as I talked to his mama & big brother. He’s no worse for the wear. And thoroughly enjoyed that his mama never put him down after that scare.