The old adage is true...it takes a village.
One day I was shopping at my local Trader Joe's when I saw a little boy, about eight years old, pushing a grocery cart backward with his tiny baby brother in the toddler seat. The older boy starts hopping the cart up and down as me and two other shoppers stare in horror. His mom is trying to find some spinach in the produce section a few feet away with her back turned.
The boy hops the cart again...the cart wobbles...I hold my breath.
Luckily it stays up. At this point the boy sees the horrified look on my face and he quickly pushes the cart over by his mom. I have two choices. One ignore and keep going, he isn't my son. Or two, be vulnerable and talk to them. So I take a deep breath and push my cart over next to them.
I look at the little boy and say, "I have to tell your mom what I saw you do."
His mom says, "what did you do?"
He's so red, I feel awful for him. I want to hug him and tell him everything will be okay, and I've never seen this boy before, but I have to share this message with him. It is important so I take another deep breath.
"He was bouncing the cart up and down." I say, and turn back to the little boy and continue, "doing that you could have lost control of the cart and your little brother could have fallen and got hurt. You have to remember, jokes can turn into accidents in a moment. Be careful okay."
He nods, and I smile and go back to the task of picking out yogurt. I catch him watching me, I smile again this time he does too. We part ways strangers, yet a mama saved from potential tears, a baby from injury and a little boy from regret. It takes a village. All mamas need a little kindness and support. We have to protect each other and our children. That's how we thrive.