When it was just the two of us on these outings, I simply planned them around my son's naps and snacks. I enjoyed sitting next to him and looking through his selections together.
When our daughter was born, I knew that these outings would change a bit. I wouldn't always be able to fully engage with my son as his sister may need to be fed, changed or soothed. And if she became too fussy, I knew that we would need to end some of these outings prematurely.
On a recent visit to a local bookstore, I was planning to just let my son quickly browse the children's section. As usual, a woman shelving books offered to help us out. I told her that we were just browsing and I expected her to continue shelving books. After all, we weren't planning to buy anything that day.
To my amazement she was excited that we were "just browsing" and insisted on helping us out. She happily picked out a book she thought my son would enjoy. And when my son asked her to see book after book after book, she happily found them for him. And she didn't even stop there. Not only did she take the books off of the shelves for him, but she also got down to my son's level, opened them up and looked through them with him. I loved seeing her enthusiasm for books. It was contagious.
I was so touched that she was able and willing to give my son the attention that he desired during this outing. As a parent of two little ones, it's wonderful to be reminded that help is there even when you don't ask or expect it.
When has a stranger jumped in to help you out as a parent?