I decided today to venture to the park in order to get out some wiggles. Our homeschool group meets every Thursday to socialize and play. We haven't gone too much this year because it is extremely exhausting for me. It can be challenging to keep an eye on all three littles at one time.
Things were going well. I was able to talk to a few moms and the kids were having a good time playing on the playground. I would constantly scan the area keeping an eye on my kids. Then, a mom came over asking if we knew who the kid was that was running away from the park towards the street. I looked up and could see Nathaniel taking off. Seriously, I had just seen him a few minutes before on the playground.
I wasn't worried because a group of boys were chasing him down along with another mother from the park. I didn't know this mother, but was grateful for her willingness to catch my son when I wasn't aware he had gone off. I headed toward the returning group to reclaim my son.
When I had him back with me, this other mother became furious with me. She said she was shaking she was so upset. She had yelled at the boys that had tried to chase down Nathaniel and now she had yelled at me. If looks could kill, I would have been a goner.
What lesson did I learn? You would think that maybe I learned to be more careful at the park. But, this is not the lesson I learned today. The lesson I learned was to extend grace to other parents who have appeared to be irresponsible. Now, I'm not talking about the parent who does not put their child in a car seat. Or a parent who repeatedly neglects their child. I'm talking about the parents who divert their eyes for a moment. No parent is perfect. I am not perfect and things happen. I need a ton of grace every day.