Moment With a Random Stranger Equals… Comfort

Chronicles of My Maternity Leave
July 21, 2014
On Restoring Relationships & Embracing Conflict (5 Steps)
August 12, 2014
Show all

I had a wonderful week with Brahm playing in various parks and exploring new places this week. This was what I was going to write about until something amazing and unexpected happened towards the end of the week. We decided to take a trip to the High Park Zoo all 3 of us – Brahm, Taj & Myself. It was a great day of exploring real animals for the first time with Brahm until he decided that it was scary, we then we headed to the magical wood castle park at the bottom of the zoo. I needed to pause and feed baby Taj so I found remote park bench to nurse my baby.

I had to share it with an old European grandmother, the perfect depiction. She was resting there during her morning walk. I sat on the bench and I had to move closer to her as the sun was beaming down on us and I needed to find shade for the baby. I moved closer to her and started to nurse. As I was nursing the shirt that I was wearing kept falling down and getting in the way of feeding Taj.

At that moment without any hesitation she leaned over, took the part of my shirt that was interfering with me feeding and tucked it into my side. I smiled at her. She continued to watch me and she noticed that strings from my shirt were on my breast… perhaps getting in the way of my baby’s latch. She then reached over again and brushed the strings away. The moment struck me. There were no words, just intimate gestures from a random stranger. While this felt very natural for her, this may not have been so well received by some. In today’s world we often talk about personal space and the fact that we need it and people need to respect the boundaries of this… in this scenario, there was none and I was completely ok with it. In fact I actually felt a rush of comfort and affection…and I welcomed it.

I sat on the bench with her as long as I could. I did not want to leave her. I was enjoying her company, her energy, and I was intrigued to see what she may do next as we smiled and nodded at each other. It made me start to think about personal space, it made me thing about why we are so lonely as a society and human race, why we are plagued with things like depression and anxiety. Are we manifesting it ourselves? Are putting up barriers to the things that we need as human beings… touch, random acts kindness, community. Why was I so moved by what she would think is natural? It is an old world vs. new world thing or a culture thing?

Whatever it is, I welcomed her warmth and I felt grateful to have had that wonderful encounter.

IMAGE SOURCE: Edite Haberman