Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Day 4: Standing On The Shore Is Just As Valuable As Being On The Boat

Standing on the shore is just as valuable as being on the boat

We all like the front lines, that’s where the action’s at. But you don’t have to be in the thick of it to make an impact. Sometimes the smallest sideline gesture packs the biggest, loudest punch.
We are newly home with our daughter. We’re tired, tension-filled and our three-year-old son is desperately in need of some focused attention, so we say yes to a Legoland date with friends. Sensing our exhaustion, they insist on pushing our daughter’s stroller throughout the park. I’m still grateful almost three years later.

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Fast forward a few years, we are in China to adopt our youngest. Given the lack of wheelchair ramps and the uneven, narrow streets, we couldn’t bring my daughter’s big, pink power wheelchair, so she’s taking in the sites from a stroller. As part of our trip, we went to visit the Terra Cotta Warriors with a guide. You view the clay warriors by looking down from a raised platform into low pits. Taking our daughter in and out of the stroller at each exhibit was cumbersome, so we ended up just picking up the stroller with her still buckled in. Given that we were doing it repeatedly, it became heavy lifting. Unsolicited, the guide insisted on pushing the stroller between the various pits. A cynic could argue that he was just looking for a bigger tip, but he was so kind and unassuming about it that we knew it to be a genuine gesture and we gratefully let him lead the way, stroller in front.

Thai Airways 
We’re headed to Thailand to become brand-new parents. We’ve got a late night flight and we’re sitting at the gate, passports and hearts clutched in our hands when my phone rings. Despite the late hour, a co-worker and friend calls. “We’re praying for you guys. Travel safe.” he says.  The call was less than five minutes, the impact has lasted years.

I waited years to become a mom, many long years. Then finally, we were matched with a child. We were ecstatic. May rolled around, and even though we were still waiting for the travel approval that will allow us to go and meet our son, a friend texted me “Happy First Mother’s Day.” I teared up just looking at the phone.

The countless and wonderful ways that our family and friends have encouraged us and supported us over the years are far too exhaustive to list. Some of these gestures have been especially meaningful because they’ve been from guys. It’s not that I think men aren’t capable of being thoughtful too, but it’s that I didn’t think they would realize how much these little considerations would mean to a woman.

You don’t have to go big or go home. You can live small to live loud.

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