Do We Have Something In Common?
I am not a creeper. Yesterday’s trip to the grocery store did however involve a smidgen of stalking on my part. We can call it ‘discrete observing’. Think Nancy Drew if you will. That was me, Normal ol’ Nancy, definitely not being weird. Here's how it went down...
While seeking out the necessity of parental vitality (aka coffee), I had spotted an infant sized cutie pie that perhaps shared a commonality with my daughters. Fruitless attempts to steal glances as my cart intersected that which she was occupying, left me unable to confidently discern whether there was truth to my hunch or just hopefulness.
While in the self-check-out line, (which I may or may not have selected due to having spotted this family already there), I timidly approached a complete stranger and asked, flat out, if her daughter had Down syndrome. My radar for magnificence had not led me astray. Chatting with this momma during the short time spent bagging our food items was all it took; our connection had propelled us into an instant friendship.
We relocated our discussion past the automatic sliding-doors, next to the arcade machines. Gold coins rained down, and a level-up by my standards was earned, when this woman opened her newly purchased bag of Lindt chocolates to share. Next, in our rich and now flavorful conversation, she asked if I wanted to hold her little girl. Was it my incessant cooing that had made it so obvious? ‘Chocolate and baby snuggles?’, I thought, ‘She just gets me!’
Apologizing to my milk and eggs, I continued to converse for over half an hour, all the while cuddling a beautiful bundle, with her head nestled under my chin. During this time, we exchanged phone numbers, arranged a walking loop, and took group selfies. Gazing down at Miss Puddle-of-Love, emulating my Lottie in her ability to dissolve in your arms and melt against your chest, I realized she had fallen fast asleep.
My new BFF and I are in agreement, this journey is a roller coaster. Passengers who have gained access are few and fortunate. The railway holds no lack of excitement. Our ‘not typical’ children have gifted us an abundance of joy, new friendships, and renewed gratitude at each turn. Rehashing the various climbs and plunges we have lived out thus far, brought forth feelings of validation and comfort. We relished the growing depth of our empathies, and mourned the realizations of adversity.
Across the board, relational bridges provide strength, growth and courage. Roller coasters are designed to be enjoyed collectively after all. What a blessing, to have a friend by your side, ready to scream into your ear the reminder that it is ok to loosen your grip and open your eyes. Together, we are able to encourage one another to throw our hands above our heads in surrender, with complete faith in our life's Engineer.
Thank you Winco, for unknowingly hosting this moment. My shopping yesterday yielded today's Cupa Joe and a new friendship; both filling me with warmth. Previously strangers, this woman and I are now joined together as all families, not in reference to our children's genetic similarities, but by the bind of love, that we share for them. Here I am, blessed yet again, with a realization of how powerful, simple, and instant that love can be.
Disregard my first statement; I am a creeper. In the land of botany, a creeper is a ground plant that extends itself around fellow plants, or up a wall, as it grows. By extending myself, and taking a leap past 'Nancy Drew' type observations, I have gained a wonderful ride-along buddy on this unique rollercoaster of parenthood. Connecting with others, and allowing growth within ourselves, shifts the trajectory of our thinking upward, off the ground, just as a plant scaling a wall. In my experience, this elevation offers a more vast, compassionate, all-inclusive perspective in life; oh, and the occasional Lindt chocolate.