Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lessons learned in the fabric department....

A few weeks ago Tam (my mother-in-law) and I took all four kids to Hobby Lobby. I know. We're a little crazy, but we were feeling brave. We'd been waiting to pick material for Tam to make the girls quilts FOREVER. More specifically, we'd been waiting for someone to be able to watch the kids so we could go on our own.
We gave up.
So there we were in the Hobby Lobby fabric department with two carts and four energetic children. I wish you could've seen it.
"Oh Mimi! I LOVE this one!" Kylie raved over every inch of pink material she could find. Of course, just looking wasn't enough. She yanked fabric off and tried to unwrap it and drape it around her body to see if it would twirl.
And Julia pulled the pokies (pins) out of fabric at every opportunity, as if on a mission to save the fabric from being injured.
On top of that, indecisive me pulled practically every bolt of fabric off the shelves, rearranging them to see which ones would go together the best.
After 10 minutes of this, we had DESTROYED the fabric section. Fabric was piled in lopsided stacks everywhere as I contemplated and rearranged them once again.
The poor woman who worked in the fabric section looked at us in dismay which quickly turned to annoyance. She was a rather gruff looking older woman, and I could just see the thoughts swirling in her mind.
"Why can't that woman teach her kids to keep their hands off my material?"
"And why can't she put just one bolt back where it belongs?" (In my defense, I was trying to do this, but hopelessly failing, I'm sure.)
In my head she became a crabby old woman who would gripe at her co-workers for weeks about my poor treatment of her meticulously maintained fabric department. My goal was to decide exactly what I wanted, put everything back as best I could, and RUN out of the section before she lost it and yelled at me.
I FINALLY picked what I wanted, and we went to get it cut. And Tam took over. In two minutes, she had that "crabby old lady" smiling and chatting. She told the woman she liked her shirt and asked if she'd made it herself. When the woman said yes, Tam told her what a failure her last shirt-making effort had been. Suddenly, the woman was smiling! Laughing! Talking to my "annoying" kids! I stood back with my mouth hanging open.
"Wow! She is good!" I thought.
You see, Tam took the time to see how the woman was feeling and challenged herself to help her feel better. She wanted to make her smile and talk. She wanted to be friends.
I wanted to run before she killed me.
I wish I was more like Tam. I wish I saw the hurting people of the world and tried to help them instead of avoiding them or stereotyping them in my head.
Something to work on...

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