After a day at the zoo the family and I decided to stop and get a late lunch. As the hostess guided us through the restaurant to our table I noticed Elizabeth scanning the room looking at the other patrons. Then, as we were seated, she spotted what she was looking for, sighed and said, “Oh thank goodness. We’re not the only ones that have a toddler.”
Her fears come from passed experiences of having Charlie in a restaurant. Being the busy toddler that he is, it is difficult to keep him occupied throughout the process of deciding on food, ordering, waiting on food, eating and finally paying the check. I’m sure that in his mind it seems like an eternity, and he just simply does not understand why he can’t just run all over the place. So, to avoid being “those people with the screaming kid” we usually simply avoid these types of situations.
Yet those Elizabeth’s fear subsided at the sight of the other young family in the restaurant. We did not know them. We didn’t speak to them. Yet these complete strangers were able to provide a sense calm. Even if the worst were to happen and Charlie threw an all out tantrum, at least there would be one table that would understand and empathize with our predicament.
Parenthood – like life in general – can be pretty difficult at times; but it’s even more difficult when you try and do everything by yourself. They say it takes a village to raise a child. What they don’t tell you is that it’s a lot easier if that village has a few extra empathetic parents around.