A Lesson in Humility and Parenting: A Run-In at a Restaurant

I should have been a better role model for Jax and taken the high road, but I didn’t.

This weekend, we took a family vacation to Door County, Wisconsin. We’ve had this trip planned for months and had already paid for our hotel room, so even though we are completely broke, we decided to go for it.

My parents always taught me that no matter how stressful things are, a vacation can help reset your perspective.

So when the lady in white walked by, I smiled.

And then, Jax reached up over his head with his fork and accidentally touched her.

She looked at Jax with a look of annoyance, “My sweater!”, she said. She glared at me.

What did she want me to do? Did she want me to apologize? She was the one who ran into Jax! Did she want me to offer to pay to get her sweater cleaned? I didn’t see any marks! Was she judging us because we brought a young child to a restaurant? We were on the patio and there were other kids there!

So, I did the absolute worst thing possible.

I said “Well, maybe you should watch where you’re going.”

And as she glared at me and walked away, I did the most absolute double-worst thing possible.

I said “What a bitch!”

My mind was reeling with all kinds of thoughts. Don’t you know, lady:

that this kid fought for months to live?

that he has a brain tumor?

how absolutely amazing it is that his fine motor skills are strong enough that he can even eat with a fork? 

that our family has been through so much crap in the last few years, that we deserve to enjoy a night out on the town?

AAARRRGGGHHHH…entitlement is not something I want to teach Jax!

Why did I do that?!

I snapped. I guess the stress of the last few months (and years) finally got to me. I was angry that this lady interrupted what was supposed to be a peaceful and stress-free vacation.

But, now I’m angry that I allowed my temper to get the best of me. I’m angry that I let Jax see what not to do in this kind of situation!

And most of all, I’m sad at the thoughts that ran through my head at that moment. I’m sad that Jax has had to endure so much; I’m sad that’s our story. But, why should Jax, or us, get any special treatment just because of how hard we’ve had to fight to be a “normal” family?

There was only one bitch here, and that was ME!

I learned a lesson in humility this weekend. I learned a lesson in grace.

I have a lot of work to do if I’m ever going to get any better at this parenting gig.

I guess my parents were right: vacation really does help change your perspective. This one happens to be a tough change to accept!

Our happy family just before the "incident!"
Our happy family just before the “incident!”