Sometimes, someone steps in, without knowing it, and says just the right thing at the right time. Words you needed to hear right then: to encourage, motivate, give you little hope.
This was not one of those times.
North Carolina is preparing for a storm. A snow storm. We don’t get those too often here, so it kinda sends everyone in a tizzy. Milk and bread really do fly off the shelves and all events are canceled. The state pretty much shuts down.
As the forecast for this epic event seemed to be more substantiated, Seth and I began to talk about all the fun he would have playing in the snow. Would he build a snow man, make a snow angle, try out sledding? Then I looked at his feet. Sneakers. He was wearing sneakers. Not a problem right now since the ground was bone dry, but if all this white fluffy stuff was really going to come, he was going to need something else. I quickly thought through his shoe arsenal. Those sneakers, flip flops, two pairs of sandals, Croc knock-offs, slippers, and dress shoes. None of those would work for a snowy day.
So, as much as I hated to go out and shop, I swallowed my fear and braved the battle field of stores with the kids in tow. Each store I went into (three different ones to be exact) I could hear others ask the same question: Do you have any boys’ winter boots? The answer: No.
Seth was heart broken. He NEEDED winter boots. The last store I went into had “fire fighter boots.” Not snow boots, but maybe I could convince him these would work (they’d be better then his sneakers, for sure). He was not buying it. My best sales pitch did not make a believer of him. As I tried to reason with him (sometimes I really do wonder why I try to reason with a three-year-old?!?), I could hear another woman on the phone talking about boots too. “These should work, they’re not snow boots, but they are better then nothing, and I think they’re not too girly…” I tuned out of her conversation as I came back into my own world of a distraught little boy and rapidly melting down one-year old.
“Seth,” I finally said, “these are what we are getting. They are all they have, let’s go. We going home to have a snack.” The finality in my tone must have caught on, because although he was not happy, he came (or maybe it was the promise of snack?).
After paying at the front, I was trying to move Seth out of the way for the next customer.
“Don’t hurry,” she said, it was the woman who had been on the phone, “my daughter’s in the same boat as you. She’s got three little ones and they needed boots.” Yes, I was not alone in this boat. Then she added, “I told her to stay home and I would find them for her.”
Sigh. As a juggled Bridget, my purse and bags from Walmart and tried to herd Seth with his new boots, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for myself. I tried to imagine what it would have been like to have my mom say, “I’ve got this, you keep the kids and I bring you the boots you need.” This well-meaning Grandma, had no idea what meaning her words had.
Sometime I wonder why God has called us to live in a place where we don’t have family. Why do I have to do so much on my own? Why can’t grandma just pop over so I can get my hair cut or go to the doctor by myself?
But although I don’t understand, I know this is where we are suppose to be. God is teaching Ian and I something (or should I say somethingS) while we are here. I would be lying if I said I don’t sometimes (like today) really resent it. But I know that God is a loving Father and He has the best planned for us, so I’m going to have to trust in that.
And besides, Seth has decided he LOVES his new boots, so it’s not all that bad 🙂