::Warning - long, serious, non-picture post ahead::
We are library lovers. It's true. While our library is quite quaint and tiny, we love ever inch of it. Sesame even requests, "Lie-Bee" when we haven't visited in awhile. The library I grew up attending is not ours, but it's still close. And it happens to share a parking lot with a park. Park + Library + Coffee Shop IN the library = happy baby and happy Momma. : )
So, today, since the sun is shining, it's only 83 degrees and I can actually breathe the air outside, aka low humidity in these parts, we made a trip to the park. Sesame was elated. Climbing the stairs, squealing and demanding assistance on the slide. In her defense, the slide is pretty huge. Also, the last time I made her go alone, she snorted a bug, choked slightly and then almost fell off at the end of the slide. I think she might be scarred. Anyway, we had a grand time! : ) If I could get the video off my phone, it would be plunked right here.
After about 20 minutes or so, it dawned on her, 'the library is right there and we haven't been' She she began with her "Lie-Bee! Momma, Lie-Bee," to which I promptly scooped her up, and skipped inside. Sesame navigated to the back of kids section - where all the toys are. There were two other mothers, and a father, with their children there when we arrived. One mother was on the floor with her ~3 year old son and ~18 m. old daughter. The father was sitting on a mini couch, knees up to his glasses, scanning a notebook while his munchkin of 3 flipped the pages of a Clifford book. The other mother was sitting at a table near the edge of the rug, reading a paperback book of some sort. Her four children ranged from ages 18 mos - 8 years. The two middle children being around 3 & 6, and decked out in the Superman and princess costumes. The oldest boy seemed to be caring for the children as he frequently wrangle the youngest back from the shelves of books to the play area. Sesame jumped right in, playing with the other children, now and then looking to see where I was.
The father and first mother left shortly after we arrived, and another family walked in. The two girls who looked to be 4 & 5 (I found out they were actually 3 &4 - just very tall) with beautiful, dark curly hair. I sat next to the newest mother and asked about her girls. She had a gorgeous Persian accent. Her daughters had Persian sounding names as well. She commented on Sesame's agility (she may or may not have been attempting to climb the puppet stand...which I did stop!) and vocabulary. I commented on her daughters behavior as well. It was clear we both demanded good behavior from our girls.
She was so interesting. We talked about girl's hair - I picked up some tips on how to tame Einstein-Kramer's wafro - I asked how she met her husband - she said college, but he was American - I asked where she was from originally - she said Iran - She asked me if I was Romanian - I said no, but I actually get that alot! - I found out she was in school at IUPUI - I told her my degree was from there - Then, all of a sudden, the Momma reading her paperback book barked out, "Bobby! Just ignore them, they're being rude! Stay away from them!" We both looked up and saw that barking mother was talking about my new friend's daughters.
Who were across the room.
Not even really playing with barking Mom's kids.
One of Friend's girls came over to her mother. I almost burst into tears. It was extremely obvious what was happening.
I just looked at Friend, stunned. She said to her daughter, "It's okay sweetheart," hugging her close, "Why don't you two look at the puppets?" "I'm so sorry," I said. "It happens. People just look at their faces and make a decision that quickly about who we are." I wanted to hug this woman. I wanted to tell her I was shocked. I can't even being to imagine what those girls are going to face, what their mother will face. What did she saw to them when they got in the car? Did she address what happened? How do I address this situation? What am I going to tell Sesame when this happens, and she is aware that it's happening around her?
I do know that I will tell her all people are "...fearfully and wonderfully made..." (Psalm 139:14) by God and we are called by Him to "...love one another, as I have loved you..." (John 13:34) and treat others better than ourselves. I know I will tell her that God, in His Word, talks about loving everyone in John, in Romans, in Ephesians, in Galatians, in 1 Peter and most of all in 1 John. I know I will open up the Bible and tell her God does not want the behavior of the Barking Mom from us, he calls us to more than that.
In the end, I exchanged email addresses with Friend. We talked about getting the girls together to play. She asked, when she found out I did photography, if I could do photos of her girls, so she could send them home. I said, yes, of course, please, I'd love to. Just like that, in fact. :) I really hope she does reply to my email.
As we left the library, I kept turning the scene over and over in my mind. Was I being judgmental of the Barking Mom? Did I miss something? Were the girls bothering her children? Then, I stopped. The moment was over. I handled it as best I could at the time. Now, it was time to start praying. For Friend, for Barking Mom, for Friend's daughters, for Sesame and for me. "Sesame," I said, "Let's say a blessing."
And we did. Right there. In the library parking lot.