As a parent, few things are as annoying as someone coming up to you in public to tell you how to treat your kid. Unless the person is being abusive to the child, there really is no need for a strange to walk right up and try to teach you how to be better and to try to change your parenting habits.
But that’s exactly what happened for a young mom while she was out shopping with her child at the grocery store. However, this encounter might have started out annoying to the young mom, but as she listened to the elderly man and let his words soak into her head, they would go onto forever change the way she acted as a parent.
While pushing her little one around in the shopping cart filled with groceries, Leanne, the write of the blog “Life Happens When,” noticed an old man approaching her. She wondered if he was just going to walk on past, but he didn’t. He stopped and then he stared her down.
“I need to tell you something,” he told the young mom.
As it turned out the man couldn’t resist telling her how cute her kids were. They were sitting on top of the food Leanne was about to purchase, and he loved seeing their youthful innocence. He went on his way only to return later and reveal a secret about his past.
“He then began a story about when his son was five-years-old. His son had asked him to build a birdhouse. He told him no because he was really busy with ‘important’ things for work. He watched his disappointed five-year-old slump off without crying or making a scene, and suddenly he felt terrible for breaking his son’s heart. He called his son back to him. Together they went to the store to buy the materials, and they built the birdhouse.”
Forty years later, the old man cannot, for the life of him, remember what the “important” work was he had to do, but he can remember everything about the experience building the birdhouse with his beloved son.
He then told Leanne that they still have the birdhouse.
Leanne wrote, “My eyes immediately flooded with tears. Even though I’m with my kids for the majority of our days, I don’t always devote myself fully to them. I halfheartedly do activities with them. I fuss at them. I get distracted by chores and my to do list and my phone. This man may never know just how much he stopped me in my tracks, helped me adjust my priorities, and inspired me to slow down and be more intentional with my family.”
Leanne would go on to describe the man as a Godsend. She believes God puts people him in our lives “to help show us the way.”
Now that she has been touched by an angel, Leanne wants to share her experience on her blog. And many readers are seeing the value in what she learned that day in the grocery store.
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