I was on the streetcar blissfully daydreaming away (I have the tendency to daydream all day and even at night too … if that makes sense) – I mean I was completely zoned out. You know the look – when you stare at someone or something but you’re not really staring. 😐
Then suddenly, screams pierced my thoughts and I was shot back to the reality of that smelly streetcar and knowing that I wasn’t really doing what I was dreaming about… I also think I grabbed onto the seat in front of me because I was so startled *sigh* When I finally came to and realized that of all things, what “woke” me up was a toddler having a tantrum, my eyes rolled to the back of my head.
Truthfully, I’m not fancy on kids and there have been occasions (in the line at Walmart when I’m only two people away from reaching the cashier, for example) where I’ve fled the scene as a result of not being able to handle a kid tantrum. Seriously, I don’t even know how the parents of these fit-prone little people do it. I’m a strong believer that every parent who has handled a public tantrum from their kid should be compensated with an exorbitant amount of money, a national holiday in their name, and a royalty scepter (not for beating, of course).
Anyhoo, back to me or maybe not. We were travelling east on Dundas Street and approaching Bathurst and before we got to the streetcar stop this kid began screaming at the top of his lungs (you know the type of scream that sounds like someone’s skin is being peeled off?). He wanted out of the stroller and off that streetcar like ‘now’. Had he not been doubled strapped into his stroller, I’m convinced he would have crawled out of the window. Anyone who’s familiar with the stretch between the Bathurst and Denison stops on Dundas Street knows it’s a good walking distance along a curvy road. For those of you that aren’t, here’s a handy map:
The poor mother nervously glanced over her shoulder (I’m sure she could actually feel the death stares from the rest of us on the streetcar) and then tried to gently calm her son down all while holding a bunch of grocery bags and using her leg as a stroller stopper since it didn’t seem to have breaks. She tried to reassure the child that they’d be getting off soon (one stop away, in fact) but the child was too young to understand and too focused on what he wanted at that moment to give a hoot.
Amidst the crying and the sweating and the shushing and the sighing I realized something major. How many times have I prayed about something that I desperately wanted and then threw a huge fit because God wouldn’t grant my request or seemed to be taking tooooooooooooooooooo long? Like those years that I spent so focused on my loneliness and I prayed and at times even tried to negotiate with God to “send someone my way”. My pleas echoed that kid’s cries, “I want someone in my life and I WANT IT RIGHT NOW!” The mother, knowing what was best for both of them, didn’t give in, she was firm but loving. Imagine if she had caved to his request – what an ordeal and a lot of extra unnecessary work that would have been to get to the same end!
That mother is like my all-knowing, loving, and super awesome God. And I am like that kid whose immaturity and selfishness wouldn’t allow God, who knows what’s best for me, to penetrate my life. Sure, in my moments of greatest despair I could have caved in and pursed the first ‘thing’ that came along but in retrospect I know that would have caused a lot of extra work and heartache to achieve the same outcome He had planned for me all the while. So, just like the child, I ended up getting off at the “streetcar stop” that God had intended for me and though I kicked and screamed the whole way, I’m very grateful that I at least trusted Him enough not to try to crawl out of the window.
Who would have ever thought that I’d learn something so revelational from a tantrum toddler!?