I can’t believe. I mean I truly can’t believe what I’m seeing here. I am seated in my favorite coffee house in Boone, NC (shoutout to Hatchet Coffee) and I can’t believe what just happened. How dare you. I mean seriously how dare you!
So, there is a family sitting across the room from me. Mom and two boys. Mom is all about busyness (no…I spelled that right), five year old is all about some whines, and then there is the eleven year old boy. And I can’t believe this. Blown my mind; wrecked my day; touched my heart.
They sat down, and he got up and got something for his mom. He sat back down and his little brother needed napkins. When the mom said she’d get him one in a minute he said no…his brother should get them. His mom never looked up from her computer. So 11 went and got his brother some napkins. They sat for a while and suddenly, its time to leave and they need to get coffee for dad before they leave. The mom tells 11 what to order and sends him to get it.
Now, I was creeping like a creeper and overheard the order and I have no idea what she wanted. Iced coffee is what I heard. In just a minute, 11 comes back and sits the drink on the table. Iced coffee. Mom turns to him (to express thanks?) and says, “Do you ever listen to me?” She then goes on a rant about how that isn’t what she wanted and she had just explicitly told him what she wanted and that she is upset about how he never listens. She goes to the back (where the front is) and explains to the cashier (loud enough for everyone to hear) that her son had ordered the wrong thing even though she had told him exactly what to get.
Have you ever watched someone’s heart break? I mean…literally watched someone pick up a suitcase filled with degrading thoughts about themselves and throw it over their shoulder as they resign their self to these truths? I watched 11. I watched him sink beneath the weight of unwarranted disappointment.
I also watched him smile at his mom when she came back to the table. I watched him teach his brother a game on his phone so he would leave mom alone to work on her computer. I watched him carry her stuff to the car and hold his brother’s hand as they walked through the parking lot. I watched all this as I tried to control my thoughts: “isn’t she being a bit of a, no Maggie, she’s a mom and you’re not and you have no idea how stressful that is. She’s got her own stuff and I was probably lucky enough to catch her on a rough day. Don’t prey…pray.” I tried to set my mind on lifting 11 up and lifting mom up and lifting 5 up. And that is how I landed here.
How dare you. I’m looking at you 11 (all children)…how dare you! How dare you be more mature than the grown ups. How dare you have to learn about life before I had even learned how to multiply. How dare you be robbed of your innocence by media. How dare you be robbed of your childhood by broken homes. How dare you be broken…abused by those closest to you. How dare you.
And how dare me for finding inspiration in an eleven year old…instead of aspiring to be his.
*I would like to reiterate, I’m sure I caught mom and 5 on a bad day. 11 wouldn’t be such a gentleman if mom spoke this way daily. The key here is not to look at this mom…but ask yourself when you’re that mom. Whether you’re a mom or not. Hatchet mom…you have a beautiful family if this should reach you. You’ve done a great job.