Monday, July 13, 2009
Gratituesday- Reaching out to Others
I wasn't going to go. We were in the middle of potty training, and there was no way I wanted to brave WalMart and food shopping in the same errand... but something drove me there. Literally. And before I knew it, I had parked in the Walmart parking lot, had my little guy, and was on my way in.
Back by the toy department on the search for a bribe/celebratory potty-training prize, I ran into the mother of one of my daughters friends from preschool. They had been in the 4 year old class together the previous year. We hadn't seen each other in about a year, and she asked how our kindergarten experience had been. I enthusiastically said what a great year my daughter had had and asked her the same about her daughter...when I noticed the look in her eyes that she just needed to talk.
She explained that they were dealing with the onset of her daughter having seizures and how difficult their year had been. I listened, and then with a compassionate smile on my face I explained how we had been down that same road with our daughter a few years ago. We had been through the same testing, sent to the same neurologist, and experienced many of the same emotions. She couldn't believe it. I was also able to share some insight as a teacher how to be an advocate for her daughter (we need to be our children's advocate...you know your child best!) and where to find some valuable information about the learning process. I gave her my email and phone number and told her I would help her if she needed...or I was there to listen and share anything I knew.
After our half-hour long conversation, I noticed a look of relief on her face, like a burden of needing to talk to someone who understood what she was going through was lifted off her spirit. I was candid in my conversation, re-living the feelings, emotions, anger, panic, etc, when we were going through the same thing...but the only difference was I didn't have anyone "like me" to talk to. No one I knew had been through it before. No one really understood. And I saw the need to reach out to her and to let her know they will get through this...it will work itself out.
I then knew why I ended up at WalMart that morning...
The purpose of this post is not to "toot my own horn" by any means, but reaching out in an empathetic way to others from the heart is gratifying, even in the middle of WalMart...and I think we all would benefit if we each took that step every once-in-a-while.
Post linked to: Gratituesday