When I am online sometimes, I have gotten the impression that humanity is really the pits. This is especially true when I read the comments section of articles about children. Trolls jump on screaming about kids in airports, movies, restaurants, parks, out in public etc. Some of the commentors actually complain about mothers who use strollers on the sidewalk. Because you see, we take up too much room. Sidewalks are only for businessmen on their way to work.
It was enough to give me the impression that Americans were ready to eat their young, not out of hunger, but pure resentment.
But then I took a look around at my neighborhood, and I thought about how I actually get treated. Now, I live in Boston, which is not a place known for its warmth and compassion. But everywhere I go, there are people smiling at my kid, holding doors open for me, even offering me a subway seat or two. And this is not karma because no one disliked kids more than me until I had one.
A perfect example happened today. Its been snowing all day in Boston. This was a problem because Jen was not home, and everyone else in my condo was away. I share a driveway with the condo next door. I wasn’t sure what to do about shoveling it because I didn’t want to leave my son alone in the house.
Mid morning, I heard shoveling. So I ran downstairs, and the couple next door had shoveled the entire driveway including my space. I thanked them profusely because it is a pain in the ass job. They really don’t talk to me much normally, but they told me not to worry about it.
Few hours later, and it has snowed so more. I figured Jen will be home soon so she can watch Parker while I reshovel the driveway. But then, I hear the scraping of the shovel again. So I run downstairs and they have reshovelled everything. I’m so embarrassed. I apologized and said I will make sure to get up tomorrow and shovel first thing.
And you know, this couple who I barely know, who don’t really talk said, “We are cognizant of the fact that someone in your house is expecting. We don’t mind.”
So I have decided that people are basically kind. As for the others, some people will resent you just for being alive in their space. They are going to have to get over it. And move around me on the sidewalk.