Dear Mamas At Chick-fil-A,
To the one I judged. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for not biting my tongue and taking a moment to see past your son’s behavior.
I’m sorry I raised my voice when he pushed my son around.
As soon as we left that day I knew I was wrong. I asked for forgiveness and prayed for you.
Mamas face a lot of messes.
If I were to see you face-to-face, I’d admit I was wrong.
Because the tables have now been turned and I’m the mom being judged.
To the mom giving me the death glare.
The look on your face says it all.
That I’m an awful mom. That I can’t control my kid.
Believe me, some days I feel the same way.
Please don’t look at me with judgmental eyes. I’m already my own worst critic.
There’s more to him than what you see.
He didn’t tackle your little girl out of spite. He’s really not mean.
He can’t talk.
We are both doing the very best we can.
There’s no manual for how to parent a child with a speech disorder.
It’s a day-by-day, sometimes moment-by-moment, journey.
Today I did my best, or at least I thought I did.
I stopped the behavior, put his shoes on, and we left.
Then I cried on the way home.
I cried because I would give anything to make things easier for my son.
I cried because there was one thing I should have done differently.
I should have had the courage to walk up to you. To apologize. To speak up for my son.
I should have told you he has Apraxia; because right now I’m his voice.
But instead I probably came down on him to hard. I hurried out embarrassed and defeated.
I let you believe he’s just a bully.
Shame on me.
I learned a lesson in grace the day the little boy pushed my son.
Today I learned to extend that same grace to everyone.
To the mama giving me the death glare and to my defeated self.
Because every mama is facing a mess all her own.
Another Mama Facing the Mess
Jennifer Jackson Linck
Jennifer writes about faith, motherhood, adoption and Apraxia. She is also the author of Bringing Home the Missing Linck: A Journey of Faith to Family, and Jackson Finds His Voice, a children’s book.