So, lately I'm a little scared of people because people can be scary.
I'm an over thinker, which makes for some social anxiety, and I live in an area that has a large number of people who only live here for half the year, and these people often have no chill. They're very comfortable asserting themselves, where I prefer to smile and nod and go about my day, avoiding direct interaction with strangers in public.
Every day I sit at the same residential street corner in my car waiting for little kid's bus, and I have to pull slightly into the crosswalk in order to see it coming.
I'm neurotic, so I feel tremendous guilt about that and try to be conscientious about reversing a little bit in the rare event that anyone tries to cross. The other day I was in a terrible mood though, and the bus was coming soon. I saw an older lady approaching with her dog and mine started barking at hers, so it was full chaos mode. She stopped and looked at my car, and I wondered how long it would take for the neighborhood watch to arrive and interrogate me.
I decided I wasn't reversing that foot from the crosswalk, she wouldn't even have to walk around me with the path she was on. She probably already hated me anyway and both stupid dogs were barking like crazy.
Then she walked across...and around to my driver's side. Fuck. Should've backed up.
She waited patiently as I rolled my window down, ready to apologize and explain the bus stop situation when she said, "I just wanted to tell you that you're a good mama. I see you here everyday, just sitting and waiting and you're a good woman and mother."
I was so stunned by her kindness that I wasn't sure how to reply, a rare event for me. I stuttered something out about how nice it was of her to stop to say so -- that I spend a lot of my time there waiting and it feels wasted and that she had just made my day.
The drudgery of motherhood feels so purposeless that it's easy to forget that it's important.
That lady was a good reminder to be the stranger that's willing to take a chance on others, and although she'll most likely forget it as a small kindness, I will remember it forever and as more than that.
(And I have to stop being a scary stranger too.)
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