Concern or Criticism

Just this past weekend we were coming home from our yearly snowmobile trip. Seeing as it’s a long ride, we don’t force our boys to wear their coats. The vehicle is warm, and more often than not, our boys complain of getting hot when in the vehicle for a while. Plus, technically coats are not supposed to be worn while a child is in a car seat.

Anyway, on the way home, before getting the boys in the van, we made sure the van had been running for a while so that when they got into it, without their coats, they would be toasty warm. Their coats were packed with all their other winter gear because it just made sense.

After close to an hour into our trip, it was lunch time and we were hungry. There was a McDonald’s up ahead that had a play place in it so we decided to stop there to eat and let the boys play. And, no, I did not unpack their coats to make a quick run inside. Yes, I know that the temps were freezing out and that snow was falling, but I figured it would be no big deal to quick take them from the warm van to the warm indoors of McDonald’s. I also knew that before we left, my husband would get the van running ahead of time so that when I came back out with the boys, they’d be cold for just a brief moment.

No big deal, right? I didn’t think so. But maybe I was wrong.

Once inside the McDonald’s, my husband took the kids straight to the play place while I went to go order everyone’s food. Just when I was about to have my turn, an elderly woman came up to me and touched my arm to get my attention. I smiled and looked at her, acknowledging her presence.

You know what she said? She said, “Don’t your babies have any coats?”

I went over the whole spiel on how they did have coats, but why they weren’t wearing them. She kind of sort of understood, but went on to say that if we needed help we could get help. I thanked her for her concern, but made sure to let her know we didn’t need help. The boys do, in fact, have coats. I then quickly moved on up to the counter where I ordered our food.

As soon as I got to where my husband was, I shared what happened. I seriously didn’t think much of it. My reaction to the whole thing was that she just was concerned and wanted to make sure we were okay. However, my husband took it a totally different way. He thought she was judging us and criticizing us, probably coming to the conclusion that we were horrible parents that cared nothing for their children.

So after that I’m not sure what to make of it. The point is it really doesn’t matter what she thinks because she doesn’t really know who we are. She is not in our shoes, nor will she ever see us again probably. If that’s all she was doing was being nosy and judging us then she’ll have to answer for that someday.

But, if she was really, generally concerned, then good for her! I think it’s wonderful when people care about others and aren’t afraid to speak up if they see a situation that might not be ideal.

It’s my goal to be more aware of situations and to show the concern and care I have for others. May it be so for you as well!

Thanks for reading!

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