Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Grocery Adventures, part II

I had another experience when grocery shopping the other night. This one less maddening, if only because it was so heartbreaking.

I was maneuvering my cart - just Baby and me - down the canned fruit/juice/condiment/pickle aisle in search of olives. It was a fairly full aisle, with at least two people on their cell phones while shopping.

One of these was a mom with a dozing baby in an infant carseat. He was bigger than my 3 1/2 mo-old, but presumably less than a year. She paused her conversation to instruct a boy, about 4 maybe, on which can of fruit to get (which he naturally dropped, and scuffled around on his knees with his coat dragging to retrieve). As I passed by, she leaned to see under the hood of Baby's carseat and from behind me I heard this: "Awwwww..." And then, "why couldn't one of you have been a girl?" My heart just sank within me. I could not believe I'd just heard - quite loudly and in public - a mother speak to her boy like that. I can only guess what might be said at home, behind walls of privacy. I gently shook my head as I continued on. I wanted to go back, pluck the woman's phone from her, look into her eyes and point out what amazing treasures she's been given to steward. That these are men, in her keeping, and will likely one day be someone's husband or father. Or to ask her by what means she expects to demand a particular gender in her family. Or to express my gratitude that, on behalf of all girls, she doesn't have any to raise with that attitude. Okay, so those last comments only came to me much later.

I'm trying to find the lesson in this for myself. My own sins are never so glarlingly obvious to me as this (well, some are, actually). How often am I ungrateful, even resentful, that I don't have what I wanted or expected or worked for? When I anxiously await some gift, thinking that certainly I will have it as I expect, because Susie Christian has that, as does Lucy Righteous and - oh! - even Mary Notsoperfect. I mean, certainly I've earned it if she has been blessed with it.


Too often! I have to remind myself that I am not *entitled* to the blessings of others. Whether it's the 'big' things like someone's house or income or marriage or family, or the 'little' things like help with the dishes or time to meet for coffee, these are not owed me. It is not necessarily for my happiness that God gives (or allows) certain things. Perhaps He prefers refinement. And perhaps, instead of wanting, I should too.


MamaJ said...

Wow. That has inspired very deep thoughts over here. I probably would've commented to her, because I'm still working on my unbridled tongue...or even just told the bigger boy "What a great helper you are!" How sad.

God is definitely working on me in the areas of ungratefulness and resentment. *sigh* I have LOTS of areas "under construction."

Benny said...

That is so sad. And the points you make are so true and poignant. Entitlement is something that really grates on me the older I get, and the more kids I have. ;o)

As for that little boy and the little brother - as a mother of three boys who winces every single time I hear some comment directed at my crew along the lines of, "Well, at least you FINALLY got your girl!" that one really hurts my heart. These little men are such blessings, and to have anyone in the world imply that they are somehow below par just because they are male is so very sad. But their own mother? How on earth could those men ever grow up to confidently live their life and lead their family? The battle may already be lost. So sad.


Sarah said...

Stumbled on your blog while looking for fellow Jesus lovers! And was blessed to find that you, too, homeschool. I've just started homeschooling my son (7) and will begin homeschooling my daughter (13) this coming school year. Love your blog, and am also saddened by what the woman in the store said. People don't realize that those little "harmless" words can stay with one forever.