Dear Stranger…

Dear Stranger,
I passed you on my way into work this morning.  I don’t know you, and you certainly don’t know me.  You were walking with your son, a bright little fellow of maybe 4 or 5 years.  He wanted to smell a flower that was on a bush next to the sidewalk you were standing at.  As he leaned over to take a glorious sniff…


You yanked his arm and chastised him for making you late.  You yelled that the flower was wet, and he’d get all wet if he stopped. You pulled him across the street, yelling angrily at him for being slow, and always wanting to stop.  You didn’t stop yelling at him in the 8 minutes that I watched.

I don’t like to judge.  I don’t like to assume… but watching you do this, and the tears that erupted from this little man as you walked out of my sight, made me feel so sad.  Maybe no one told you this… but, your little man, he’s a miracle.  His desire to stop and smell a pretty flower, or point and ask what something is, is a GOOD quality to embrace.  Maybe you’re late for work, maybe you had a rough night, maybe you’re not feeling well, but please… if there is a way… find some patience.  Dig down deep and find that happy calm place, and smile at your son.  Tell him to smell the flower.  Teach him a love that is unconditional and ever patient.  The world is already a very fast, and sometimes cruel place.  Teach him to find inspiration, to love and spread joy.

If I could have, I’d have stopped you and given you a hug.  Maybe you needed it.  I’d have patted the little man on the head, and told him something funny to make him smile.  These years that our children are with us, are precious.  As frustrating as kids can be, lord knows I get frustrated with mine at times, this time we get with them when they are still innocent … it is so short.  Enjoy it while you can.

A stranger

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