Thanks for walking a mile in my shoes

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:53

    To the editor: On Aug. 26, this paper printed a letter from a Warwick resident who wrote in to express her opinion regarding an incident at ShopRite that occurred on August 16. The incident she was referring to was this: a 4-year-old was having a loud tantrum because her mother would not buy her something she wanted. The mother refused to grant the child negative attention, and instead proceeded to check out her groceries. She did not respond to the child, but kept an eye on her to insure the child was not harming herself. She appeared to be waiting for the child to finish. An older woman marched up to her from several aisles away and complained in a loud voice that the child was "disturbing her" and that the mother should "do something about her." The mom appeared upset and embarrassed. She responded defensively and a "scene" ensued. At one point, another woman said to her "She (the older woman) doesn't understand, let me help you." The mom thanked her, but declined. She had only half of her groceries checked out, and had an elderly woman and young toddler in tow. She waited to check out the reminder of the groceries (what an eternity!) and left the store, carrying the child, kicking and screaming. What other options did she have? Perhaps, she could have bought the balloon for the child, teaching her that she need only scream loudly to get what she wants. Or, maybe she should have left her groceries and just walked off the line, to save face. Whatever she was thinking, she stuck it out. C.J. Sapanaro wrote to the editor to acknowledge that this happens to many parents and that we should support instead of judge each other, to state her disappointment at how unfeeling the older woman was and to commend the other woman for being compassionate. I am writing to say thank you to C.J. for her empathy and understanding. My father used to say: "Never judge a man (or woman), before you walk a mile in his (her) moccasins." After I became a mother, I tried to keep that adage in mind. Life can be complicated. You never know what is happening within a household. Parents try to do what the "experts" say; they read books, they seek advice, they learn from experience; they do the best they can. So, thank you, C.J., and thank you to the kind stranger in the ShopRite who offered her help. I will always remember to try my best to reserve judgment of others. Your letter was very uplifting to me because I am the mom of the 4-year-old. Mary Gallant Warwick