An Unexpected Compliment

I took the four kids to Costco tonight. I would normally try to avoid taking all of them, but Brett was working a little late and the shopping had been neglected long enough.

We stopped in to the cafe to grab dinner before browsing the aisles. The kids each ordered a gigantic piece of pizza and Kai and I shared a turkey sandwich wrap. Then we all shared some frozen yogurt.

The kids did well and we didn’t have any incidents. We took our time eating while we chatted and laughed. The baby didn’t cry. No drinks were spilled. Nobody fell off their chair.

A little gas was passed a few times by Anna, which caused uncontrollable laughter by Lincoln and Luca, but it didn’t draw too many glaring looks.

When we were done I loaded the cart with bags and kids and we headed out to shop. As we walked by one of the tables I heard the regular comment, “You’ve got your hands full!”, coming from a man sitting with his wife. I gave him a polite nod and smile. Then his wife leaned over and gently touched my arm, which caused me to stop for a minute.

“Your children are sure well behaved”, she said, “It was a pleasure to sit by you.”

I thanked her and we were on our way. I felt my head lift a little higher and my smile get a little bigger. I have had remarks like this from grandparents before, but this was a couple close to my age and I didn’t expect it.

The kids had been well behaved. They have certainly had their share of tantrums and I have given my share of scoldings while shopping and I appreciated her taking the time to give my kids a compliment when they deserved it.

As we browsed the store for another hour and a half I felt light hearted and happy as we laughed at Kai’s overuse of his new word, “uh oh”, and Anna’s flatulence problem.

A stranger’s comment made me more aware of my children and helped me enjoy shopping with them rather than rushing through it.

Next time we go shopping I will be the stranger who makes a parents day by complimenting his or her children.

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