Saturday, November 23, 2013

Where The Wild Things Are

My son asked me to stop by the library the other day on my way home from work to pick up a book.  I'm usually tired after a long day, but what the heck.  It was a quick in-and-out trip and I was on my way to putting my feet up.

Found the book fast enough, but waiting on line to check it out seemed to drag on.  In front of me stood a young woman with her two sons.  Assumed they were her sons, all three of them blond.  The boys were aged maybe 6 and 4 years respectively, the younger one still in diapers and sucking on a pacifier.

The problem wasn't just the wait.  The boys were wild, screaming, running around, tearing up the flooring and just acting awful.  As if that wasn't enough, their mother did absolutely nothing, outside of the occasional "hey guys, stand by me."  There was quite a bit of rumbling in line behind me, and I tried hard not to say something.

Because as I was standing there watching this spectacle, I remembered a letter to the editor I read some time back from a mother of an autistic child who asked people not to be judgmental if they saw her child acting out.  Why that popped into my mind I'll never know but I heeded her plea.  When the elder of the two boys asked what the printer payment box was for, I very calming, slowly and precisely explained how it worked.

The child stared at me wide-eyed.  It seemed to me that no one, not even his mother, had ever explained something so clearly to him before. He actually stopped moving for a good three minutes, and then went right back to pushing buttons.

Why the mother didn't intercede and try to explain library etiquette still confuses me.  This particular library is popular with children and is always crowded with them.  Yet I don't recall any of these children behaving this way.

G-d put thoughts in our minds when the need arises.  That's the only way I can explain remembering the letter, and the only reason I didn't take this young mother to task.

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