Beware the kindness of strangers

December 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

It was a familiar scene on the way home from school pickup. 4yo complaining loudly about the lack of snacks upon my person, 2yo arching his back and refusing to be strapped into the double buggy, baby crying softly. A large lady stops at the bottom of the hill and smilingly awaits my approach.

“Good lord,” she says, hands on hips, by way of greeting. “You haven’t got three under five, have you?” When I nod my affirmation she continues: “I did that too. Mine are in secondary school now. I think that most weeks I manage to smile, oh…three days out of seven.” When I giggle in response she looks quizzical. I don’t think she was joking. “Good luck,” she says, fixing me with a serious stare. “God bless. It does get better.”

I don’t know whether to be grateful or to cry. Three days out of seven?! Is that what I’m aiming for? I think she meant well. But next time I see a benevolent-looking stranger I’m going to keep my head down and walk straight past.


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