We had just visited the aquarium. After being in traffic for over 1 hour on our way up and getting to the aquarium to find out that the class that we were going to participate in wasn’t as fun as it was advertised, I could tell that my kids needed a pick-me-up.
We stopped at McDonald’s for a quick cone. We all got an ice-cream (the best 2.20 that I had spent all day). We sat down and I just savored the moment of having my two kids with me. We just people watched and I wiped my son’s face over 40 times. The ice cream cone was a little too much for him to pick up and gobs of vanilla ice-cream kept dripping down his chin.
But, for once, I didn’t mind cleaning up the mess. We were having a memory.
But then it was time to go home. It was already 12:30 by this time, I was cutting it close to nap time. My son realized that his ice cream was now a white soupy mess on him. Then the tears started to come.
He started screaming right in the middle of McDonald’s. But I am used to the tears. I am immune to them by this point.
I just pick him up and start going to the door when an old man that was doing a crossword puzzle says, “You have your hands full.”
I have no idea what to say when people tell me this. Am I supposed to say, “Thank you?” Am I supposed to agree with him and say, “I know I do?”
I probably get this reaction every time that I go somewhere where there are child-less adults. I never hear it at a park or a children’s museum. I never hear it because parents know that saying this is meaningless- we are all parents!
When I heard the old man say this I got really upset while putting my crying son in his car seat. He could have done something helpful, like, I don’t know, hold the door open for my huge stroller or something?
But no, he was a bitter old man that just wanted to say something spiteful.
I was fuming in the car driving the 35 minutes to get home. My son finally screamed himself to sleep while my daughter read books.
But then a realization hit me. Yes, I have my hands full. And my growing belly reminds me every day that my hands will be even fuller in a few short months.
But at least I have something in my hands.
At least I have someone in my hands to hold.
Yes, my hands may be full, but hopefully they are full of love.
So whenever someone says this to me, maybe instead of getting mad, I should be grateful that full hands mean an emptied life.
An emptied life that gives without thinking of receiving and that cares even when they are exhausted. An emptied life is a life of Agape love.
How do you react to hearing "You have your hands full?"
I would love to hear from you!
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