The best family I ever judged
My New Story
Healed from My “Judgmentalism” (At Least for the Moment)
It was 8 PM when they all filed into the typical 10 by 12 hospital waiting room where I had been sitting by myself enjoying the silence:
• the 3 year old Filipino boy in black flip flops, shorts and top
• three sandy haired boys in grey tennis shoes , shorts and tee shirts, ages 4,6,and 9
• a black girl of about 12 in black jeans, pink flip flop sandals and pink cell phone cord hanging from her ear
• a tall long black haired, toothless 50ish woman in a white floor length flower printed dress
• a 300 pound blond haired, blue eyed woman in a disheveled Metro uniform pushing an 11 month old black baby girl in a stroller
• a tall slender 20 year old mulatto with effeminate features and mannerisms
• then a 28 years old woman in stylish layered red blouse sweater, black tights and flats
• a wiry, olive skinned boy of eleven in shorts and loose tee shirt
• and lastly a 6 foot 6, rather handsome, soft spoken gentleman in tan shorts, buttoned shirt, tennis shoes and a computer slung over his shoulder
Pecking order dictated as they all flowed around the room for seating, and then adequate placement of everyone’s 24 oz. soft drink containers and plastic bags filled with Subway sandwiches. Of course the new energy of so many souls entering at one time and starting to eat and talk was unsettling to me; but thankfully, the conversations remained relatively soft and quiet.
Unbeknownst to them, their reputations preceded them and within moments I had analyzed, categorized and filed each in their “proper” place in my automatically judging mind. They were also at another “disadvantage” because they had no idea who I was—the lone seated occupant of the room, an old grey haired man in tennis shoes, blue jeans and rumpled tan wind breaker.
The tall man in tan shorts was, so I had heard, the uninterested and uncaring father; and these were all foster children he and his wife used only to get money from the State. To my surprise, I had met his “uninterested” wife an hour earlier in the birthing room, where her foster daughter, married to my grandson, was in very painful labor with her first child.
As the next three hours unfolded, many little miracles were offered for witnessing but, one has to be willing to release judgments to see miracles and receive the benefits.
All of the little boys played together in the room, and were well behaved. The older children looked after the younger children with gentleness; and the adults looked after all the children and treated them with respect and kindness. No voice was ever raised.
The eleven month old baby girl walked and crawled around and emptied the well dressed woman’s purse all over the floor article by article with the only comment being, “good thing there is nothing in there to hide”. No one rushed to stop the baby or pick up any item until long after the baby had moved on to other adventures.
When the toothless woman spoke and moved it was with kindness in her voice and gentleness in her actions. The tall man, a computer engineer, loaned the wiry 11 year old boy his computer and the other adults loaned the little boys their phones to play games.
At some point the tall man realized that the old grey haired man in the room was part of the other side of the family and was considerate enough to introduce himself as, “Robert”, father of Jena, the mother to be. He also explained which of the boys and girls in the room were her stepbrothers and sisters and that the tall woman and the well dressed woman with three boys in grey tennis shoes were mother, daughter and sons. They were friends who came to support and share in the joy of new life. The lady in the Metro uniform was one of his now adult foster children who moved on to foster children of her own.
The handsome mulatto, who lovingly calls Robert, “Dad” is in second year at a local university studying drama and arts. The shy 12 year old girl, the slender olive skinned boy, and the lively Filipino boy are all foster brothers and sisters come to be with their sister, Jena, and her new baby, their new niece and nephew.
As I lay in my bed the next morning reviewing the events of the previous night, I realized I was the one needing, and given, the gift of healing: healed, for the moment, from the bounds of tribal and judgmental thinking and gifted with sight from the heart to see only the good, the holy and the beautiful set before me.