They say that if you don’t know what to do with your child, ask someone who isn’t a parent, because they have all the answers. It is so true. I knew a LOT about parenting until the day my baby was born, and then it all went out the window.
We went to Greenwich today. The one where all time starts. But that’s besides the point. We went to a toy shop, filled with beautiful wooden toys, board games, card games, marbles and paraphernalia enough to keep any child happy. There was a little boy, as we walked in, saying,â€ I just want to…” and his dad cut in, “you’ve had your time Matthew”.
“But I just want to show you one thing!”
“You had your opportunity”
“Just quickly, one thing”
“Do you want to spend the rest of the day in your room”!
“Okay, that’s it”
And that nearly broke my heart. I felt so sorry for the little boy, and my first thought was of how mean the father was, and would it really cost him anything to take an extra 20 seconds out of his day.
But then I thought a little more, and I realised that I don’t know anything about this man, or his child, or the baby in the stroller, or their absent mother. I have no idea how much he has slept, how long he’s let his son loose in the toy shop or what their commitments are, or why he has to be so strict on his child.
I think that parents, or at least the vast majority of us, love our children. They are the true ‘for better or worse’ in our lives, the indubitable ‘in sickness and in health’. Most of us want what’s best for our babies. So I for one will concern myself with my child, and my home, and really ‘judge not, lest you be judged.’ (Matthew 7:1, the Bible)