Porter and Molly have been taking swimming lessons in the evening this month. It's a hectic time of night, right before dinner. There are multiple lessons going on at the same time, one after another. So there are a lot of parents and siblings at the pool, in the locker room, and waiting in the lobby, where you observe the kids in the pool through big windows.
I ran into an acquaintance of mine in the lobby, after I had already deposited the big kids in their appropriate spots. Cedar and I sat down, and she began to tell me the story of her day. The gist of it was, her husband was out of town, she ran over her cell phone, and had to spend an hour at the cell store with her three kids (all of whom are five and under) in tow. Sucks. She was tired. I was sorry.
And then right at the end of her story, another parent in the lobby taps her on the shoulder and points to one of her youngest boys. He's banging on the vending machine, she says. It's really loud. My friend sighs, and makes a move to get up. And then the lady says, I think he just needs some attention. With a big fake smile. I looked at my friend, and it sort of looked like she was going to cry. But she got it together, basically ignored the other woman, and her son came back over on his own. She got up quickly though, and waited in another part of the room.
I couldn't really say anything, because this acquaintance of mine, I don't know her that well. But I should have. I am blown away by other parents sometimes, and the way they feel they can pass judgement. You really never know what's going on in somebody's life, it could be a whole lot harder than a broken phone. This other woman was there with her husband, watching what appeared to be their only child take swimming lessons in the pool. The grandma even showed up and watched. They all doted on the boy afterwards, and I couldn't help but give them the stink eye. When they couldn't even help the mom on her own with three little kids having a hard day. Because really, that could have easily been me.
But. I suppose I have no idea what those other people are really like either. Judge not. Right?