Simpatico

You know how sometimes you think things for a long time and then one day you read the Internet and you realize that someone wrote down your thoughts?  And that they did it very well?  And you feel relief because it was going to take a lot of work for you to do it and, even then, it might not have come out as elegantly as the way the Internet put it?

Me too.

Lots of my thoughts on parenting boil down to what this woman said.  Thank you, lady.  Simpatico over here.

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Static

Today my mother-in-law, the kids, and I went out to get the kids haircuts.  My boys, especially, have come away with haircuts a la Dumb and Dumber one too many times when Husband has taken them.  Besides he was helping his mom with yard work.  So it worked out perfectly that I be the one to supervise their new do’s.

Since it only took around 15 minutes to finish our errand, we thought we’d stop by Zaxby’s on the way home for a little treat.  We slid into a booth and enjoyed the funky memorabilia lining the restaurant walls.  We talked about everything and nothing and got free drink refills.  Before we left, my mother-in-law suggested that we order something for Husband since he didn’t get to join us.

I ordered a grilled chicken salad to go and proceeded to wait for our number to pop up.  We waited…and waited.  Then I watched as a shy Latino approached the counter and I listened to his order.  It went something like this:

Hostess:  What would you like today?

Latino:  Heh?

Hostess:  What would you like to order today, sir?

Latino (muttering):  Cheeken platter.

Hostess:  I’m sorry?

Latino:  Cheeken.

Hostess:  Grilled or fried?

Latino:  Heh?

Hostess:  Grilled or fried?  Your chicken.

Latino:  Greeled.

And he stepped back to wait for his number to come up.  He wore a vague smile and his eyes possessed the vacant look of a man who doesn’t fully speak the local language.  The same look I wore for three years in India.

Finally my number popped up.  But before I could claim my grilled chicken salad, the Latino grabbed the salad, muttered ‘thank-you’ and left.  I moved in slo-mo.  That was my salad

So I re-ordered, and it took another forever before we could leave with our food.  But I couldn’t be angry.  Because, the truth is, I know exactly how the Latino felt as he ordered his food.  I know how his mind was preparing an answer in English so that he forgot to pay attention to the next question.  I know how he was listening for key words and paying attention to the body-language cues of the hostess.  I know why, when he saw that some type of food order was ready, he jumped, sure it was his.  Because he was nervous and trying not to look stupid.

I would not have understood him or sighed sympathetically at his plight three years ago.  I would have been annoyed and antsy.  But three years later, thank the Lord, I got it.