Today I made my weekly Wal-Mart run with both boys. Usually these trips are quite lengthy. Today, however, the list was fairly short (although the basket fairly full) and we did it in under an hour.
We meandered down the cereal aisle picking out some favorites. Each boy happily held a box in their hands chatting away with each other and me. A lady stopped us and said, "Boy! You sure are happy boys today. And, you're being so good."
"Thank you," I said.
"Thank you," chimed in Aiden.
"Tan choo," Dawson added, not to be out done by big brother.
We continued merrily on our way. Aiden managed to knock a few jumbo packs of diapers off of the shelf and when I asked him to put them back, he actually did it. It took him awhile, as the packages were as big as he was, but he did it. An employee watched with a grin. "He sure is one motivated little boy," he observed.
"That he is," was my reply.
When we reached the check out, both were still pretty happy and fairly well-behaved.
Aiden was helping the cashier spin the wheel of bags when he looked at her and asked, "What's your name?"
She stopped dead in her tracks, stared at him and began, "Oh no, you didn't just say that!"
My mind raced with all the things that could come next. Was she offended by his question? Had he spun the wheel too many times and agitated her? Did she hear something other than what he said?
She looked at me and asked incredulously, "How old is he?"
We continued the conversation. She told me that she has six children of her own and that she knows kids. She was amazed at his verbal ability and asked me what I did with him to make him so smart. Everything he did and said from that point on amazed her.
"Really," she continued, "what do you do? My boy is Pre-K and doesn't talk like that."
Sometimes I get so focused on our failures - like potty training - that I forget about our successes. Aiden, for all the little things we work on, really has a lot going for him. He is very friendly. He is an excellent conversationalist for a 2 year old. He can count objects correctly. He loves his brother and his sister. He also loves me and his daddy and he doesn't hesitate to tell us. He has a contagious laugh and a beautiful smile complete with cute dimples.
Not everyone who sees me out with the kids always has such a positive encounter. And yes, often I'm the one who attracts the attention because someone is crying or out of control. But today, and in fact, yesterday as well, we experienced great things.
God has a way of patting us on the back every once in awhile. He seems to know just when we need a little motivation to keep on keeping on. I'm so glad He did that for me today.