Witnessing achild having a very public meltdowncan be awkward at best and excruciating at worst. But when it's your own kid? The embarrassment and dread can overwhelm any parent and make him or her want to slink away in shame--unless someone unexpected decides to help.
That's what Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, the mom blogger behindMy Little Poppies, learned when she visited the local pool with her two young children. Nine months pregnant at the time, she cringed when, after lugging the two kids and all their heavy gear from the car to the pool on a hot and humid day, her son immediately began having a loud tantrum that threatened to end the day's plans in an instant.
"The other moms would look away in an attempt to be polite," she recalled in a revealing and personal blog post onThe Mighty. "Cheeks flushed, heart pounding, I tried to calm myself down. I was moving as quickly as I could for an extremely pregnant woman."
Suddenly, she heard shouting from the other side of the pool.
"The woman was walking toward us with gusto, arms swinging. 'Bravo, mama! Bra-vo! No one here will say this to you,' she said, as she gestured toward my silent audience with one hand, “but you are doing the right thing. You’ve got this! Good job, Mom!” And then, she started to clap her hands. She applauded my parenting at one of my lowest parenting moments to date," wrote Curley.
The small but public gesture changed everything in an instant for the frazzled mom, who years later hasn't forgotten about it.
"I think of her every single time I see apregnant woman managing toddlers... I think of her when I see a mom whisking her crying child out of mass on Sundays. We have all been there, haven’t we? If you are thinking kind thoughts, always share them. If you have something nice you could say, say it."