In light of the most recent controversy surrounding nursing in public (NIP), I figured I'd share a flip side of that coin. Who am I kidding?!? I'm bursting at the seams to tell my tale and the negative media makes it that much more satisfying!!
Today my best friend and I decided to escape the FL heat by walking at the mall instead of dying outside. We picked one of the bigger 2-story malls in the area thinking it'd give us more ground to cover. This was all good in theory... I should note that this mall is probably the swankiest mall in the area. I did see a diaper bag for $120 and the most adorable outfit for Squirmy...so adorable that it was $56!!! Moms with all too expensive strollers kept giving me and my Chicco Cortina dirty looks; Yes, I'm serious. (Side note: we almost turned around and went to a different mall for all the cop cars and people standing around outside....until we realized it was the iPhone release day and the insanity was limited to just that entrance.) Of course we couldn't manage to just walk the mall without shopping. So I tried on some shirts, desperate to add something to my wardrobe that is flattering and accommodates this baby weight I'm working on. No such luck.
So I'm feeling fat and "unworthy" when I felt my sugar start to crash. We hadn't eaten before hand and it was well past 1:00pm. So, off to the food court. Nice little boost to my feeling fat thing :( I'd fed Squirmy before we left the house, but we'd been gone awhile. That in mind, I plowed the stroller through the impossibly crowded seating area in hopes of finding someplace where Squirmy and I would both be comfortable eating (and my friend, too). I was about to give up hope in finding any of the more comfortable, booth style seating and just settle for the minimalistic, hard plastic chairs at the incredibly small, closed in tables. Finally, at the FAR end, I found some seats that were comfortable for all of us and not too many people around.
I quickly polished off my meal while Squirmy sat on my lap smiling at his "aunt." Before too long, as I expected, Squirmy started to fuss. You know what I'm talking about...the "I'm letting you know...I'm not obnoxiously demanding just yet...but I'm letting you know" that goes on for about a split second before the real demands are voiced. I looked around, gaging my "audience." Sitting directly across from me was a well put together gentleman, probably in his 60s. Great! I decided to toss a blanket over my shoulder to keep from offending anyone too much, all the while worried that someone was going to say something to me :( Once Squirmy was content doing his thing, I took the blanket down. I was fully covered by my white nursing tank and white shirt.
Well someone did say something. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a woman trying to see what I was doing as she passed behind us. I didn't really think much of it (figured I was being paranoid) until she reappeared on the other side of us. She was clearly trying to catch my eye. She was smiling so big and was giving me the thumbs up. Her husband threw his hands over his head and applauded. I blushed and got a bit choked up as I mouthed, "Thank you!" (I'm getting choked up typing this). Their daughter was all confused, and the happy little family moved on. My friend asked who the family was, assuming our interaction was based on previous encounters. Nope, just an amazing family, doing something amazing for a first time mom who was doing her best to care for her son.
I'll probably never cross paths with that family, again (they looked about as out of place as we felt in that mall). But, they will forever be in my heart. Ironic how, on our way to the mall, my friend and I were talking about the impact strangers and their acts of kindness can have on someone else's life.
Thank you little family!! I will be sure to pass along the kindness and encouragement you bestowed upon me the next time I see a mother nursing. :)