I met a sweet, old man at the grocery store today.
Both of my boys were in the cart, the younger one crying loudly because it was well past his nap time, and the older one talking softly to the fruits and veggies in the cart (yes, he talks and sings to just about everything these days). I was desperately trying to glide the cart back and forth in an effort to calm the sleepy baby and simultaneously bag produce while answering my toddler's questions. It wasn't going very well.
An elderly gentleman walked by my cart and stopped to listen to the wailing infant. "I see someone's crying for his lunch," he said with a smile.
I smiled back. Then sighed and shook my head, "Actually, I just fed him not too long ago... he is just tired and doesn't want to take his nap!"
The man grinned at the 3 year old in the cart. "Well, make sure you enjoy these times while you can. They don't stay little very long, and it goes by quickly."
"Don't I know it!" I answered, as I ruffled the hair on my little man's head.
The baby didn't stop crying, but I wasn't stressed any longer. I was glad for the reminder to cherish my children while they're still in our care.
When Little Man asked me for a cookie from the sample platter, I happily split it with him -- even though he hadn't yet eaten lunch. It seems just a few days ago, he was the infant crying in the car seat, and I wanted to share a happy memory with him.
Not too much longer, and I suppose I'll be the elderly person in the grocery store, smiling as I watch a young mother with her babies... I hope I will take the time to remind her to cherish those little ones, just as that sweet, old man did for me today.