Things had not gone smoothly that morning. Getting my fifteen-month-old and my new baby ready to go anywhere was still an adjustment for me. I was relieved to see a parking space right across the street from the medical clinic. With a little luck I would still be on time for the baby’s first check-up.
It wasn’t easy to climb out of our small car and cross the street with a diaper bag, a baby in an infant seat, and a toddler who was just taking her first steps alone. As we prepared to cross the street I noticed our car was very close to the driveway of the house we had parked in front of. I saw a curtain move and a face peering out, but I quickly turned away. “It’s not fair,” I reasoned; “I’ve had to rush around all morning and all she’s had to do is look out the window daring someone to park too close to her driveway.”
The long wait in the waiting room, my fussy baby, and my restless toddler all made me feel even more frustrated when I emerged from the clinic an hour later. Just as I was about to cross the street, the woman, about seventy years old, came rushing out of her house. All my morning’s frustration came to the surface; expecting harsh words from her, I felt I would either burst into tears or explode in anger.
Then it happened. Her words astonished me. “You poor little dear,” she said. “I’ve been watching for you. I was mad at myself for not coming out to help you when you drove up. Let me help you to your car. You’ve really got your hands full.”
Tears filled my eyes as I realized how quickly and how wrongly I had judged her. I had let my unhappy attitude determine the way I viewed her.
Since then, when tempted to judge someone’s motives, I remember that woman’s actions and try to expect the best.