There Were Many Things He Wanted To Stop And See

I’ve been so looking forward to sharing this lovely post with you.  My beautiful friend, Guilty Squid, Self-Proclaimed Internet Superstar, sent it to me weeks ago, and I’ve been holding it, eagerly waiting to share it with you on Small Moments Mondays.

When I first “met” Guilty Squid, it was her sardonic sense of humor that drew me in.  If you had asked me to describe her early on, I would have told you that she was remarkably quick witted, with a unique and biting sense of humor.   And if that is all that I had learned about her, I would have been fascinated enough.  But, just when I thought I figured her out, through our exchanges, it became clear to me that she is so much more than funny.  She is soft and kind, tender and giving. 

I love that this post offers a more intimate  glimpse into her life; the love that she feels for her son illuminates the page. 

Thank you for sharing this small moment with us, my friend.  It is a bigger gift than you realize.

This story is from when my son was in Kindergarten. He’s fifteen now (ouch) and his little sister starts Kindergarten next week. This story has been floating around in my head lately and it’s finding a fantastic home here on Chole’s blog. The tone on this post is somewhat…. different than my normal posts. I hope you like it all the same.

Sometimes, when things are going well and I view my children as small angels who can do little wrong (you know, those really rare moments) I think of this story and smile. I’m going to share it here in the same way I wrote it back then. Enjoy.

Parenting in today’s world is often a busy balancing act. Lessons are taught as we run errands, run to soccer practice, and rush to make dinner. I don’t often take the time to really think about all the missed opportunities, but sometimes life just busts in and reminds me that I have a thing or two to learn myself.

One fall morning, we were in the car on the way to school. Another rushed morning, but as I looked at the digital clock on the dashboard I was satisfied that we’d be on time. Barely.

We’d gotten to the school parking lot when my then six year old son said, “Mommy, my shoe is broken.” Heart sinking, I turn around to discover that he was right. These barely three month old shoes had taken too many playtime beatings and were just no good to him. There was no way he would be able to wear those shoes in school today. I felt that rush of impatience inside me. “I don’t have time for this, we’ll be late! It’ll take longer to go home and back again than it would to go to the store! I didn’t budget for new shoes this month! Why couldn’t he be more careful!” Pushing down all of these very thoughts and feeling very put upon and trying not to show it, I used my cell phone to call my boss and told him I’d be about fifteen minutes late. I started the car and off we went to the store.

Foolishly I had believed that at 8AM the store would be relatively quiet and this would be a quick trip in and out. I was so wrong. There were just as many people there in the morning as there are in the after school rush. With a heavy sigh I held tight to my small son’s hand and walked him into the store.

There were many things he wanted to stop and see, and in my hurry I admit to snapping, “Not today, son! We do not have time!” Hurrying back to the shoe section I walked him straight to his size. As he took his agonizingly sweet time picking out the newest styles of shoes, I noticed out of my eye a little person shopping in the same aisle. I looked down at my son who was staring. I tried to redirect him back to the task at hand by asking, “Do you see anything that you really like? We don’t have a lot of time?” My son could not stop staring at the little person. Full on staring. I was beginning to feel uncomfortable and a little embarrassed by his behavior.

At that moment, my son looked up at me and in that breathless voice of wonder that only children have he called out, “Mommy, look!” I quickly tried to turn him around and quiet him when he said, “It’s an angel!”

The little person walked up to us, patted my son on the shoulder and looked up at me and said, “You have a wonderfully kind son. He sees beauty where most people see different.”

I was humbled by my son that day. And rather ashamed of myself. I was working to quiet him for expecting him to have a reaction that would embarrass me, when he saw someone who he believed was heavenly.

I learned that as I often get caught up in the day to day madness of just living my life, I forget to stop to appreciate all of the wonders that are all around us. I forget to see the beauty in all things. I don’t take the time to see the beauty in all people. I rush around too often, without stopping to appreciate the viewpoints of my children. I realize that sometimes, I’m pushing them past their innocence all too quickly.

That day, I learned to appreciate the beauty in a lesson. A broken shoe taught me a valuable lesson in appreciation from my son. While I was aggravated and impatient, he followed with great trust. When I felt sure that he was being rude, he was gazing in wonder and admiration. I learned that simple appreciation for the beauty that surrounds everyday can give someone else a smile they might not have had. In that moment I learned to hurry less and listen more.

As we walked back to the checkout with the newest style of light up sneakers, I found that I wasn’t walking nearly as quickly as when we walked in. My son looked up at me and said, “Mommy, aren’t we late?”

I smiled and said, “We will just get there when we get there.”

And we did.

Now, I know you’re on your way over to visit Guilty Squid.  Be sure to read “Ways To Avoid An Unfortunate Engagement And Probably Also Be Served With A Restraining Order,”  “This is the story of how I thought this Hollywood writer/director/producer was proposing to me. As it turns out, I may be proposing *for* him,”  and “Steve Jobs killed my joke by being funny. True Freaking Story, People,” just a few of my favorite posts.

Then, after you’ve read these newer posts, read more.  And then read some more. 

This woman is funny, y’all. 


  1. I love this! Children are so innocent, yet we take it from them so easily with our misconceptions. Good on you, for allowing him to notice the beautiful!

  2. Adrienne

    Gah! You kill me! I'm already all stuffed up and now you made me cry, too!

    Such a beautiful story; that perfect storm of impatient mom, innocent child, and a kind and perceptive stranger. When things like this happen to me, I always wonder, why can't I keep that lesson at the front of my mind everyday, all the time?

    And of course, that's what Nichole is trying to teach us (me) to do – to pay attention.

    Sigh. Thank you.

  3. Surferwife

    Hurry less and listen more. I really, really needed to be reminded of this with my kiddos today. Great story!

  4. Oh, I have so many versions of this story…

    Finally, at some point, i learned to listen a little better.


  5. I love me some Guilty Squid!! and I loved this story! thanks for sharing another side of yourself!

    ps? that Steve Jobs story goes down as the funniest thing I have ever heard in the history of funny. I'm constantly reading it to friends. they all love you.

  6. toywithme

    A beautiful story that makes you stop and think. Thanks for sharing, you're such a doll *muah*

  7. Kids really are better at smelling the roses. We should learn from their example.

  8. Katie

    This story is the perfect way to begin my week. I often hurry through things in my school day without stopping to see each angel in the desks of my room.

    Thank you Guilty Squid and Nichole!

  9. Mandy

    I loved that. My son is only 6 months old but I look forward to moments like these.

  10. Dawne

    I know how you all feel. I just sent my son off to college. Since then I can't stop telling "Nicholas stories". They just spill up out of me like Old Faithful, I think they're wonderful, Nick seems embarrassed, his Dad smiles patiently while I go on. They know I need to tell these stories (anecdotes) more than they need to hear them. ~~ Love to all you Mommies!

  11. Sherri

    This is absolutely wonderful…really important lesson.

  12. jessica

    oh how true. I feel so guilty so many times that I am such a hurry I don't stop and see the beauty anywhere. Just yesterday, I actually stopped and smelled someone's roses. The scent was so beautiful and a great reminder that there is beauty everywhere. Great post

  13. GuiltySquid

    This was so much fun! Thank you for letting me take a day on your site to be all mushy and sentimental.

    Love you!

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