“I Hope They Remember The Mom Who Made Him Feel Accepted And Not Judged.”

Story by Christina Abernethy

I heard him. I looked to my left and he caught my eye with his loud voice and fidgety hands. He was mid to late twenties with a stalky build and buzzed cut hair.

I was standing in lane four with my cart full of groceries and he was in lane one. He was upset because lane one wasn’t open and he seemed confused as to why.

The gentleman that was with him, I’m guessing his father, explained that one was not available but that he could go in a lane that had a cashier.

The two of them walked over and stood behind me in line. I turned around to wave and say hello. I could quickly see that he was still upset as he was pacing back and forth making repetitive sounds and hand gestures.

He reminded me a lot of my son. His body movements, loud noises and the way he wondered off away from his caregiver. He gave me a glimpse into what our future may look like when our son is that age.

I smiled at the men and asked if they’d like to go ahead of me in line. They looked at each other and at first, the father kindly declined. But after offering a second time, they gratefully accepted.

He seemed happy when he stepped in line in front of me and I was glad to see it relieved some of the stress from waiting.

I noticed other patrons in the store staring and pointing, but I hope my friendly connection is what they remember.

I hope they remember a woman who treated them with respect and wanted to help when a young man was having a hard time.

I hope they remember the mom who made him feel accepted and not judged.

The mom who treated him with kindness. Because that’s what she would want others to do for her son. To be compassionate and kind. Today. Tomorrow. And always.

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