I had a wonderful moment today at the bookstore.
I had a moment when I was not that mother. I was not the mother of that kid. Yeah, it's probably not very compassionate of me to be relieved that it wasn't my son who threw the extremely heavy bead maze at another small boy, but that's how I felt. Relieved.
The mother sitting across the train table from me whispered, "I've been in that exact position, too." She, too, was relieved that it wasn't her child.
I felt bad, of course, for both the mother of the little boy who heaved the big wooden mass across the room and for the mother of the little boy who blocked it with his tummy and arm. Both boys started wailing--one because he got hit by a big heavy block of wood studded with beads, and the other because he got scolded for throwing it and removed from the play area.
For about three minutes, the air was completely filled with the loud, urgent cries of small boys who were incensed about their lot in life. And my child was not one of them!
Instead, William was sitting complacently in my lap, urging me to read more of "Duck for President." He looked a little alarmed by the wailing at first, but he quickly grew bored and squirmed in my lap, demanding that I keep reading.
And so I did. And the other kids kept playing. And almost every single mother in there either shook her head in sympathy for those two moms because after all, haven't we all been there?