Monday, November 30, 2009

The Joy of Strangers

I had a cute older woman today - Ukrainian maybe? - who helped me get Ada back home from our walk. It was the cutest thing (to me anyway - many parents might have freaked out from "stranger danger". I'm of the "it takes a village" camp). Ada wanted out of the stroller so I let her walk when we got about two or three blocks from home. I was bribing her with strawberries along the way to motivate her. She gets insanely frustrated and impatient when she is hungry and just about attacked the strawberry container to acquire some of it's contents. So I gave in -and no, I did not rinse them. Be thankful I took off the green leafy parts. I didn't have anything to dig the stems out with, so she ate them. Just like she tried to eat the rind off the orange wedge sample from the grocery store earlier. She's still learning.

We made it two blocks and then, Ada just stopped walking. She was watching the women around her and this woman was walking by. I was going to encourage Ada to follow her since she was going our direction. She looked a bit like my mom only she was shorter and spoke little English. I'm standing about 5 feet ahead of Ada when this little woman just took off her glove, held it out for Ada's hand -- which Ada accepted gladly-- and we walked the rest of the block to our house. I was laughing all the way. The woman said "What's your name?" to Ada and I replied. She said her name was Marianne. Then she said, glowing with pride, "Grandma, I am Grandma too." And then she motioned to Ada's strong grip. I offered Ada my hand so she cold hold onto us both. The woman said "Good, yes. Hold mommy." and I think she said "wee" as Ada swung between our arms for the last 20 feet of our trip. Too funny. At the crosswalk, I thanked her profusely and we started across the street. Then Ada stopped in the middle of the cross walk and the woman came back to make sure I was okay again - she thought the light wasn't in our favor and we were about to be run over. I thanked her and we made it across. Ada quickly changed focus to our neighbor's dog in front of our building, and I smiled all the way inside.

Getting Ada to cooperate these days has been less than easy. She's learning how to struggle for power, how to assert herself, and how to yell and scream instead of using words to express herself. I keep hoping "this too shall pass". Maybe I'll make that into a carol for the holidays...

Moral of the story: Some strangers are really angels put in our vicinity to give us a little helping hand when we are in need. I'm the type of person who gladly accepts their help, and pays it forward whenever possible.

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