The other day, I went to Subway for lunch. I wasn’t really thinking about the fact that it was right at noon, which meant there would be a long line and I have a little 11 week old to tote along with me. Luckily for Subway, they were the healthiest fast food in the area, so I decided to put up with the long line.
Shortly after we got in line, another woman got in line behind us. I wasn’t surprised to hear the “oh, what a tiny baby! So cute!” since Jake gets a fair amount of attention when we’re out and about. The voice kinda tipped me off and when I turned around, I wasn’t surprised to see a woman who was a little rough around the edges. She was middle-aged, wearing a flannel jacket, hair a little disheveled, and the wrinkles to confirm that my assessment of the “smoker’s voice” was correct. She then proceeded to tell me all about her 13 year old son, who was born a month early… on Christmas morning… in the cab of their truck… 5 blocks away from the hospital… in the dark because the cab light was out. These are the interesting stories you suddenly hear, now that you’re toting your own baby around, and I have to admit the story sort of fit my assessment of this lady as well.
Jake was awake the whole time and paying attention to our conversation and this new lady who was suddenly before him. We continued chit-chatting until it was my turn to order, Jake staring at her the whole time, and parted ways with a “have a good day” after I got my sandwich.
Later that day, I started thinking about the way Jake just stared at her. I started to wonder what he saw when he looked at this lady. I think he found her voice interesting, he’s never heard anyone with that tonal quality. I think he was intrigued by the way she spoke, he’s never seen anyone with quite the same mannerisms. I think he was watching her and learning from her as he’s trying to figure out how to do these things himself. I think he valued her, because she provided something unique for him to learn. Needless to say, I think his assessment of this lady was far more gracious and loving than my assessment. He didn’t pass judgment at a glance, he listened to her and was grateful for the opportunity to get to know her and learn new things about life from her.
… Or it’s possible he was just staring at her because he was tired of looking at me all day. Whatever the case may be, I think I’d like to take a little more time to really see people before passing judgment. Every person is unique and if I take the time to be involved in a conversation and get to know them, I might just learn new things about life too.