Today was like any other working Saturday. I wake up, get ready for work, wake up my baby girl, and wake up my mom. I say goodbye to my mom and daughter and give my daughter hugs and kisses before I head to work for half a day. After work, I played with my daughter and she took a little cat nap. After that, we went grocery shopping.
All of this is very typical for a Saturday that I work. I had my list, I had my daughter, I had the diaper bag. Also, my daughter was in a darn good mood. All in all, this was shaping up to be a good shopping trip.
And it was…save for one moment.
It was a moment my 11 month old baby girl didn’t understand or even notice, but I and several other shoppers did (it was mighty crowded this day).
I witnessed a mother doing what she may call disciplining, but I call aggressive and absolutely wrong.
I was in an aisle, and this family was all the way to the back wall. What caught my attention was her loud voice. Inside the cart, it looked as though two kids were squeezed in there with a baby carrier up top. What I saw was a mother hitting her child and shouting at him. The only sentence I could make out was “I told you to keep your fucking hands to yourself!” This was accompanied with a number of other obscenities.
My heart and stomach twisted into knots and tears formed in my eyes. I couldn’t even see this woman’s face, and I wasn’t the closest person to her. I couldn’t take it, but I admittedly didn’t know who to call or whether I should. All I could do was position myself away from this event, hug my daughter, and make her a promise.
To my wonderful, curious, and amazing child,
I promise you that there will be times that we will be upset with each other.
I promise you that life is nowhere near perfect.
I promise you to make as many smiles as humanly possible.
I promise you that I will try my hardest to make life as best for you as I can make it.
I promise you that there will be hard days.
Most of all, I promise you that no matter how upset I get with you, I will never lay my hands on you in such anger as I witnessed today.
I promise you that you will never know what it means to be that fearful of your mother.
I promise you that I will love you unconditionally.
To the child in that shopping cart, I’m sorry. I hope that you don’t have that anger in your heart as an adult.
To the mother in the store, I hope the anger in your heart leaves. There is never a reason to hit your child in such manner.
Disclaimer: I know it needs to be reported. I don’t have an accurate description of anybody and I don’t know who they are. It wouldn’t have been helpful to say “some mother in a super busy store.”