Today, I went on a lunch date...
with my son.
He chose McDonald's,
I chose to have the crispy fries this time.
We sat, without booster,
in a booth that had nice, high surrounds
with enough space to roam.
We sat, chomping on cheeseburgers
and flipping our fries.
But, then, I realized my need for a peaceful lunch
led me into a selfish choice.
Our six-person booth could accommodate
the five lunching ladies who jockeyed their trays and conversations
between two tables across from us.
My heart prodded,
"B, give them the table; it's the loving thing to do."
My mind characteristically rebutted,
"He's sitting; he NEVER sits independent of
one high chair's snappy strap. And, he's eating this time.
One more change will upset the apple cart."
I almost couldn't bear
the furtive glances laced with discontent,
directed at our happy haven.
And, next, we jaunted through the grocery store.
Just for some odds and ends.
With an unusually meager cart
(and a tired toddler as the naptime window approached),
I wavered between the express and unlimited lanes
"there couldn't be more than 25 items to ring...
...the cashier will probably have pity on me and help."
I arranged the packages in rows of five to slide down the conveyer belt.
At five rows, I quit counting.
My eyes, downcast, embarrassed.
My heart prodded,
"B, the people behind you don't have anywhere near 20 items...
and now you're making them wait when they clearly got in line here
My head said,
"But, she's doing a good deed for me.
She's empathetic and has nappers at home."
The line lingered, the bags accumulated.
A humble, "Thank you for helping me out today,
I underestimated my purchases,"
ended the transaction.
Twice, in one hour,
I made the selfish choice
to look out for me,
for my time,
for my sanity,
for my well being.
And, both times,
my choices hurt:
because there are
lessons I want to teach him
that little voice,
inviting me into
Next time, I should be a better listener.