A lot of people are stuggling out there, and that’s even as life is supposedly getting easier. Heck, we don’t even have to leave our car to get a cup of coffee, or to pick up groceries. In many ways, this is a blessing. We have many things to do that take priority and hold more value. Let’s save our energy for what matters. And with young kids, it can be downright exhausting to grocery shop, especially in the winter getting everyone geared up.
However, there are aspects of modern conveniences that takes away something. Our connection with others. I remember when I had 3 young kids under 3 years of age at the grocery store. I was standing in the checkout, the kids almost at their limits. I was keeping them occupied as the woman in line ahead of me was getting the last of her items bagged. As she put the last bag in her cart, I inched forward with my cart, Wil in the child seat and the twins on either side of me. I was still talking, singing, cajoling. She walked up to me, looked me right in the eye and said, “Mom, you are doing a great job.” I surprised myself by tearing up. It was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. I realized I was running 110% on damage control. Add in that I was still navigating my way through figuring out therapies for Wil and how this whole Down sydnrome thing works (I tell you, you question yourself so much when navigating something so new like this: is there a therapy, a specialist, a learning tool I could be missing? Am I doing enough, will I ever be doing enough?). So those words she shared with me went really deep.
She shared that her kids were all in their 20s now, but she remembered well that time when they were little. I promised myself that I would pass on her words to another mom just as she did to me. I would try to remember well these days, so I can share a much needed kind word with another mom. And as time has passed, I’ve done so, this woman never leaving my memory.
I’m thankful for the conveniences we have today. I could have stayed home, and had extra energy in my day to spend on other priorities. And that would have been beneficial in many ways. But that said, let us never forget the value of one-on-one connection. To make this world better, to help allieviate some of the suffering, we must truly connect with one another. There is a specificity to that connection, even with just a few words, which runs deep.
In this world of conveniences, let us not forget how powerful an open-hearted face-to-face encounter can be.