Overheard At A Coffee Shop

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Overheard At A Coffee Shop.

Okay so sometimes I accidentally listen to other people’s conversations when I’m sipping my rice or hemp latte. I wouldn’t really call this eavesdropping…. I mean is it really my fault when you’re talking that loud???

Yesterday I sat several tables away from two girls  who were seated at the window table. They were talking so loud it was if they were inviting the entire coffee shop to join them.

And so I did, ever so reluctantly.

And as I listened my body temperature began rising, no it was not a hot flash. I’m sure of it. It was more like I’d just laid down on my yoga mat in the sweltering 105 degree hot yoga studio. Soon I had to forcefully, yes I put my laptop on my knees, restrain myself  from  scooting my chair up to their table and sharing the reality of thwa it’s like to be that clueless parent…

Instead I saved my thoughts for you.

One of the young, 20 something girls was a new teacher. She spent most of the morning informing her friend of how frightfully awful us parents are, especially us single moms…

“Some of my kids parents, are absolutely clueless. I mean, I get their social economics are part of it,  but they have absolutely no boundaries. I’ve had kids in class who said the best thing about summer was that they could play their X-box all day long.”

Excuse me; it is summer? “Clearly, you don’t have kids.” I told myself.  And I’m sure it wasn’t ALL day…just most of the day.

She continued. “I am basically a parent. I provide the only structure some of these kids get. I mean their parents don’t even expect them to excel. ”

The conversation droned on. “And the single mom’s are the worst...”

At about that time God started whispering. Well, it was either God or the man next to me who eyed my clenched  fists. “You use to think you  knew everything too- at the ripe age of 24.”

I was reminded that in my role as coach, trainer, teacher I often act as if I ‘get it’ and everyone else is far sighted, near sighted or just plain slow.

The voice within continued. ( I hate it when it’s right!)  Slowly my blood stopped boiling. I even put my coat back on, my fists dissolved and instead of rushing their table and boxing those  young, ignorant ears of their’s in,  I closed my eyes and asked for forgiveness for all the times I’ve judged others unfairly.

What I overheard at the coffee shop yesterday left a mark on my soul.

It condemned me,  the single mom who has been everything and more that the  young woman despised.  It reminded me that I too have been a mindless critic. I grieved my maternal errors and the fact that I’ve been both a young and old know-it all.

Oh what I overheard at the coffee shop.

It’s stamped into my heart. Seared into my consciousness. Let my gentleness and acceptance be a sweet aroma that soothes and comforts. Let me stay mindful of how little I understand others. I am insufficient and unqualified to judge others.

What I overheard at a coffee shop.

Pam Hoelzle

Learn about my work here

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