Thursday, April 15, 2010

Some People Say the Rudest Things

I am a people lover.  I have always enjoyed getting to know people in a variety of settings whether it's school, work, church, or travel.  Since my childhood, people fascinate me with their stories, their intricacies, and their unique qualities.

For me there is great enjoyment in hearing other people's stories and learning about their points of view, and sometimes through my work telling a small chapter of their lives.

But when people are just plain rude, it is hard to be amused.  When they are rude to my children, well, you can just bet all the above warm fuzzy magic goes right out the window. You might have noticed it flying by at around 4:30 this afternoon....
We were on a rare "inside" visit to the eatery where that unusually large hunchback cow drives our littlest Bees to hide under tables or head for the hills.  It is soccer practice night and our normal drive through meal toss up landed on waffle fries and nuggets and an ice cream treat.  Plenty of warm fuzzies to be had with that meal and after the boys asked to play on the playground.  All three boys were being so good and we had some time, so why not?

The playground already had two other boys playing. I went inside to check out the play chemistry.  It's something I usually do to make sure all the ages are working well with each other.  The boys were playing well and Middle Bee had even struck up a game of Power Ranger vs Star Wars with a 5-year-old boy.  This little boy was full of energy, a lot of energy, and seemed to be enjoying the fun. 

Then as I am watching the boys dance around as superheros, a grandma suddenly bursts through the door and in a loud voice commands her grandson, (the one who was all types of rowdy),

"You need to come out here and sit with me because that boy (points to my Middle Bee) doesn't know how to play nicely and he will not kick at you again."

Huh?  Her words sort of stunned me.  Surely she was watching the same channel I had been, the one where her own grandson was more aggressive in the play.  But couldn't she had addressed me and not my child and the rest of Chick-Fil-A?

The outburst bordered on surreal, but more than that, I had some confused kiddos on my hands who wanted to know why the lady was acting like that and why she had said that when they were only playing and no one was even touched.

We have quite an analytical team of little investigators who like nothing better than to analyze strange events.  Sometimes it is exhausting, but this time it proved a teachable moment.

"Mommy did we did something wrong?"  "He wanted to play the game, he kept asking to play the game." "Why did his grandma not like it?"

I simply told them they had done nothing wrong and I didn't think she understood the game. I told them sometimes people get confused about what's going on and don't say quite the right words to handle it, even adults.

My Big 8-year-old Bee feeling protective of his little brother began telling me how rowdy the other boy had been towards them.  My oldest is above all interested in complete and pure justice.  It's hard to explain that everything is not always fair or just in the world.

For me it was a wee bit of an assault on my mothering skills.  Perhaps if I had been a new Mommy and not the gently-weathered Mommy you now see before you, I would have taken things with more personal offense.  But, no, I knew my guys had handle themselves correctly and grandma would be the one going home with a bit of something to think about tonight.

As we left the restaurant we passed her by and she smiled sweetly to the boys a bit of a sheepish grin and said, "Sorry fellas, he (her grandson) was acting rowdy too."  You never know what grandma went through today with her own rowdy warrior.  I left wondering if we had been standing in the middle of a battle of wills, just an unfortunate causality of a rude outburst.

I think she genuinely felt badly for the comment, but I couldn't help but feel a little Mama Bear as I walked by her without feeling as much as a fluff of a warm fuzzy.  A Mommy can still protect her cubs from rudeness in the world, even if it's only for a little while longer.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I can totally feel the moment! Ugh! But, it sounds like you handled it so well and gracefully... way to go!