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That Look

We took the kids to the local carnival this weekend. My son has just hit the age when he can ride some of the rides designed for little kids, so we had a really good time watching him get so excited about doing the same things his big sister was doing.

My kids were getting ready to ride the itty bitty motorcycles when I heard a little boy crying. His mom was pulling him off the ride because he had accidentally wet his shorts. The ride operator was glaring at the mom, yelling to the rest of the parents, “Does anyone else have to go to the bathroom before we start the ride?”

The mom looked mortified. Her son was screaming, all the other parents were just standing there watching, and one look at the mom revealed to me that she didn’t have any replacement clothes for her son.

In other words, she had that look.

You know the look I’m talking about. It’s the look we get when we go from everything going well to suddenly feeling like the worst parent in the world. I know I get that look when one of my kids has a huge fit in the store and everyone around me is glaring at us. It’s the look that comes to moms and dads faces when we kind of wish we could escape from the situation – even if only for a brief moment – because we know it’s not going to be pretty.

I approached her and handed her the extra pair of shorts I carry for my son. Luckily they were the right size, and later on in the evening we saw her and her son running around and having a great time. I felt good that I had helped another mom out in a stressful moment. To top it all off, she promptly mailed me the shorts back in the mail accompanied by a very nice thank-you note.

When you stumble upon another parent sporting the look you shouldn’t just turn the other way and go about your business. If you can help, then do so. Being a parent is hard enough sometimes, but when nobody is willing to help you in times of need then it gets even harder.

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