Thursday, December 3, 2009

An Outsider's Perspective

A woman almost made me cry at Chipotle today.

The place was crazy busy, so I was rehearsing my order in my head to avoid becoming flustered. Rowan, of course, was doing his best to distract me. Dancing his "funky dance," he was belting out a made-up song about beans and cheese. ("Beans beans, oooh yeah, cheesy cheesy, oh yeah...")

"I just love him," came a voice from behind us. "Your son. I just love him."

I turned to see a woman behind me positively beaming at Rowan. "Thanks," I responded, trying not to seem a little creeped out. "I kinda like him too."

"That's such a wonderful age," she mused, still staring in Rowan's direction, but clearly lost in memories. "I miss when my son was that little."

She went on to tell me that her son is a teenager now — still wonderful, of course, but much more serious and independent. "I had to smile as we walked in," she continued. "You said, 'Are you listening to me?' And he said, 'Mama, I'm running and jumping and listening to you!' I just love it! Soak up every second. It goes by so fast."

By the time it was my turn to order, I had tears in my eyes and couldn't remember if I had wanted the carnitas or the barbacoa.

I felt guilty.

To be honest, I hadn't even noticed Rowan's endearing response to my question. So focused on the task at hand, I had just wanted him to listen...and stand still...and be quiet.

As I was taking my receipt, Rowan said, "Mama, I think we should get a cookie after this, because my tummy will be so full of healthy food it won't even notice a treat."

Immediately, I glanced at the woman behind me and smiled. She was still beaming.

Sometimes it takes a stranger to make you realize how precious life is, how fast time flies and how much you have to be grateful for. So thank you, Chipotle customer lady. I gave my son even more hugs and kisses (and a cookie) tonight because of you.


Tribe of Adeline said...

Angie, that was such a sweet story! Thanks for sharing it. I love your stories! Love, Margene

MollyinMinn said...

What a wonderful story. You made me cry. Well, both you and Chipotle lady.

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