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Posts Tagged ‘#laughingwithastranger’

A mom, juggling a toddler in one arm, her purchase in another and a preschooler at her side was being asked by the preschooler if she could carry the purchase.

“As long as you don’t drop it,” came the moms cautious reply.

In seconds, milliseconds really, the purchase was dropped to the floor.

The mom and I caught each other’s eye, as we both laughed, hearty and uncontrollable.

Her stunned daughter, eyes swaying from her mom to myself, stood in amazement as her faux pas was not corrected, but the focus of laughter between her mom and a stranger woman.

Though we did not know each, the sharing of time and space, and common experience, provided a human connection that allowed laughter, normally reserved for comedians and close relationships.

Once our shared laughter came to an end we wished each other well, and went in our different directions, to our different lives.

But … this momentary meeting stayed with me.

I found myself recollecting this meeting throughout that evening and the next day, smiling, once again, at the instantaneous error and laughter. Each time I recalled that moment, I found myself thankful for child-like joy, with a stranger, over a little child’s mistake.

It was a unity, though, not just in humour, but also in the realities of being a mom of developing humans.

You see, we laughed together, because that instance is just one of many (though, usually, the mistake doesn’t happen so immediately after the instruction), in the life of a mom, of a parent. Raising children is a guarantee that there will be mistakes by the child (and by the parent).

This young mom had the wisdom to recognize in her littles, what we sometimes forget as they grow up … they are still learning, and mistakes happen.

But, mistakes don’t stop when childhood ends. Teens and young adults, moms and dads, keep making mistakes.

It reminds me of a response my grandmother gave me once, when I made a statement about someone who was living a less than exemplarily life,

“it’s not over yet”

She was stating that mistakes are often the result of learning, and that the real life-learning assessment doesn’t come until the end of our lives.

Certainly one mistakes can affect our life, but it is a step in the journey of life, and our mistakes can help us in our learning journey. Our mistakes are not the definition of our lives, but what we learn from them, how we react to them.

That old saying, don’t cry over spilt milk communicates a similar message, in reminding us to not concentrate on the mistakes we make, but simply clean them up, and move on.

I have to say that as I have reminisced about my laughter with a stranger, I keep whispering prayers of thanks for her ability, as a mom, to laugh at childish mistakes. And for her reminder to view my own adult children’s mistakes similarly, and, for that matter, my own.

 

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Karla Sullivan

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