We know how difficult it can be to get in and out of a store with young children, especially at that age when they’re endlessly curious about anything within eye (and grabby hand) level. Even the most well-mannered of young children reach their limits. After all, their brains literally do not have the capacity for adult-sized self control (nor do we adults sometimes, but that’s another topic).
I have two three year old sons, and as much as I prefer to shop small independent businesses, the convenience of a shopping cart is much appreciated. For the past few years the ability to buckle them and thus keeping them from running in opposite directions is the only thing that allows me to get any shopping done. But they’re getting older now and they don’t feel the need to break at the first sight of open space. But they’re still young, insatiably curious, and clumsy. In other words, I choose my shopping trips wisely.
Every so often moms encounter random strangers who remind us that there are folks out there who understand what it was like to have young children and go out of their way to make us feel welcome. I was recently in need of a new capo for my guitar. I weighed the pros and cons of taking my children to the music store. Yes, they’d love it. But would the owners? What if my sons grabbed hold of a thousand dollar guitar and tried out their experimental methods for making music?
So I called the kind folks at Little Rock Frets (located on in the Williamsburg Row Shopping Center on N.Rodney Parham Road) to see if someone could meet me at the car and exchange the capo for the money (people do this, right?). He said he’d be happy to, but said I was more than welcome to bring the children in. He wasn’t worried about them breaking anything and explained that he had raised four boys and understood kids’ curiosity.
So we headed on over to the store. We talked about being gentle on the way there and before we got out of the car. When we got there the man took the time to point out different instruments to my sons and show them around. It was a wonderful experience, and I felt at ease knowing we were welcome, curiosity and clumsiness included. My sons were so excited by the experience that they came home and worked on some news songs on their own child-sized instruments. Someone I had never met before played a large role in encouraging my sons creativity just by being welcoming and patient. I felt full of gratitude.
So what about you? Have you ever gone out of your way to make a mom and her kids feel welcome? Have you ever been on the receiving end of such kindness? Tell us your stories! We’d love to hear them! And don’t forget to practice a little patience today. You never know how far it will go.