Without going into details, the last few years have been challenging ones for me. A bit on the rough side, to be honest, and there's been times I've bemoaned my fate and indulged in a little self-pity party, complete with metaphorical cupcakes and confetti. And then the Universe sends along a little reminder to me to maybe shut up a little.
I was on the veranda of a local bar Saturday night, enjoying a drink with L after having dropped the kids off for a few days with my parents. An older couple came in and took a nearby table, followed by a woman about my age (45) and a boy in that nebulous tween region. As soon as they sat down the boy began to act up, but not in a manner of a spoiled child. It was obvious he was mentally challenged and clear something about the place was triggering him. After a few moments of trying to settle him down the mother rose and led him back toward the parking lot. As she made that trip it brought her back past her table on the other side of a fence, and the person I assume was her father asked if she wanted him to order food, or if they should go. The expression on the woman's face was a mixture of frustration, sadness, and almost hopeless despair. She looked utterly exhausted and on the verge of tears, so the couple nodded at each other and got up without a word, following her out. To have to deal with that sort of thing all the time, for even a trip to get a burger with your parents to be an uncertain thing, that's someone who truly has hardships in her life. Her left hand was ringless and one could make the assumption she was a single parent. It doesn't make my travails any less real to me, but it gives them a sense of scale. So perhaps I'll bitch a little less, even if it's just to myself.
Writing: 543 words Monday, only 245 today as I got caught up tinkering with some of the phrasing in Monday's stuff. I know, I know, leave it for the editing process, but I happened to glance at when I started today and I knew I could make it better. So I did. (I think.)