Have you ever noticed that life often has a way of bringing us messages when we need them most? Whatever form they take we never fail to see it as an instant truth we were meant to hear. It is simply magic.
Life lessons are not always hard.
Sometimes life will drop some random knowledge on you that helps you to become a better person, a better parent or a better friend. A random life lesson that shows you something that you never considered before but once you hear it, find that it strongly resonates with your soul. Innately knowing that you stumbled upon a truth you needed to hear. A truth that you know must be adapted into your life and that you will be better for it. You never see these subtle life synchronicities until they stop you cold with the power of them.
The other night I was having a talk with my teenage step-son concerning the importance of always telling the truth and how essential it was to be able to trust him. He had made a poor decision and while it wasn't all that major it was something that needed to be addressed. He and I have some pretty intense and in-depth conversations that for all intents are pretty spectacular from the mom point of view. Probably not so much from the teenage boy's view for now, but hopefully the lessons will carry on with him into his adult years. We both are learning lessons as he grows up and I find that he teaches me even as much I as hopefully teach him. He teaches me patience. He teaches me creativity and how to think outside of the box to help him with life lessons he is facing. Watching him grow and watching him absorb each thing life brings up continues to be such an awe-inspiring journey. He has taught me to reach to depths of myself that I didn't know existed, in order to be the best step mom I can be.
The next morning we headed out to do our Saturday errands, which meant a trip to the grocery store. He and I both sighed at the thought of fighting the crowd of shoppers getting ready for yet another Maine snowstorm. We decided to just head out early and hope to avoid the worst of the craziness.
It was a shopping trip that I will remember forever.
As we made our way around the produce section we were bantering back and forth. Playfully giving each other a hard time as we tried to get some enjoyment out of such a mundane task. More often than not we get people laughing in the aisles with our antics which both of us enjoy immensely. Stopping in the first aisle to browse salad dressings I looked as an elderly lady came up behind us. I could hear her chuckle to herself as I pretended to give my kid a hard time about being too lazy to bend over and grab something off the shelf. As she made her way around me she reached out and patted my shoulder and looked up at me with a sparkle in her eyes. "He is learning every day. He will get it don't you worry. You just have to have patience and be thankful he wasn't a girl. They are harder", she said to me with a grin as she turned her attention to him. "You will get there son, work hard, be honest and grow up to be a good solid man. You must always be truthful". With these two gems of wisdom she went shuffling off leaving us staring at each other wondering what had just happened. I winked at his stunned expression and we carried on with our shopping. Turning down the next aisle there was yet another elderly woman standing there. Honestly it seemed like she must have been waiting for us- for as soon as we turned into the aisle- she looked at my kid and without provocation laid some "gray haired wisdom" down on him; "Son you will get there. You will figure it all out. Don't you worry. Sometimes lessons can be hard to take. I know growing up is hard but it is worth it. Just remember to always do what is right". As she walked away down the aisle she turned back to me and reminded me to always have patience. He will figure things out in time.
As we stood there and watched her walk away, I turned to the kid and remarked that apparently life lessons were on sale today. He regarded me with the best teenage boy face he could muster and said it felt like Marnie (our beloved grandmother) was using these elderly ladies to teach him a lesson from heaven. With a grin he glanced up and said "I got it already" which made me laugh right out loud as we continued our shopping and bantering. The next aisle was clear of wise old crones and I could see the relief on his face as he made it to the end. We made it half way up the next aisle before it happened again. Surprise blitz attack from a shopping grandmother and more pearls of wisdom for the kid and for me as well. This lady made sure to tell him to "Trust that everything works out and you will get to where you need to be. Remember to always listen, pay attention and work hard for what you want. Always be honest and listen to your mother". Looking me square in the eye she said to understand he will try my patience and push buttons I didn't even know I had, but to be strong and continue teaching him all that I could. He would get it eventually, rest assured. Off she went with a little old lady chuckle and a good shaking of her pointer finger at the both of us.
The remainder of our shopping was free of wisdom bearing grannies but I could see the effect that they had on the kid. Though keeping an eye out for more grandmothers he was lost in his thoughts, as was I. He looked at me at one point and said; “who knew you could get eggs, bread and wisdom at a grocery store?”
Life often has a way of bringing us messages when we need them most. From stumbling upon a powerful quote that touches your soul, dialogue between characters on a TV show that hits home or a song playing on the radio that puts words to your jumbled thoughts. We must pay attention as we go through our daily moments to what others are trying to teach us whether they know they are inspiring us or not. You can feel it when it happens, that tingling in your belly and that feeling in the back of your neck that you were supposed to hear this particular truth. It serves as a reminder that magic is everywhere and we are not all alone on our journeys. We are a part of something so much bigger than ourselves and it is amazing.
Just watch out for those little old ladies at the grocery store. They got some zingers.
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