The Candy Lady

At the library today, our almost-two-year-old discovered the power of his voice.  Part growl, part banshee scream.  It filled the entire library causing all heads to immediately whip towards us.

The cause of the commotion? The book he was holding needed to be returned.  He, apparently, wasn’t done.

An eclectically dressed woman with silver heidi-braids glided across the room.  She spoke soft Russian to the screamer and pulled a dum-dum lollipop from her bag.  “Shhhh tsk-tsk,” she calmed him with her whispers and he accepted the round object by its stick.

Ohhhhh.  Sweet lady.  Don’t you know?  It’s not appropriate to give small children candy.

Firstly, my kids are (mostly) candy-free.  (“Mostly” because they seem to get fed candy when I’m not watching.  Yes secret candy-feeders, you know who you are. I still love you.)  Secondly, strangers and candy are a notorious combination.  Thirdly, it was almost 5pm and that’s a dinner spoiler.  Fourthly, he could choke on the chunks.  Fifthly, well, I won’t go on…. but clearly I am not happy that my kid was handed candy.

A few minutes later he handed the candy to me still wrapped.  I threw it into my bag and we continued with our library routine.

Fast forward 15 minutes.  We’ve read books, we’ve chosen books, we’ve chosen dvds, and we’ve even had our first experience with the special library computers for kids.  After a 5 minute warning and a 1 minute reminder, it was time to say good-bye to the computers and check our items out.

Cue: Guttural red-faced screamer.

Once again, everything with ears whipped around and glared at us.  One woman shook her head and muttered something.  I’d like to think she was praying for me and not whispering curses of judgement. Clearly I was in huge need of help.

He thrashed in my arms as I tried to strap him into the stroller.  How is this man-child already stronger than me? His screaming got louder and louder.  In the library.

After trying every trick I could think of… I remembered… the DUM-DUM!  I grabbed it from my bag, tore the wrapper off and rubbed it on his angry lips.

Immediate silence.  Instant body relaxation. “Mmmmmmm!” He grabbed the lollipop and the storm was calmed.

Dear beautiful Candy Lady, are you an angel? Today your inappropriate dum-dum was a gift I didn’t know I needed.

The librarian is a fellow-Aussie-expat and is always so lovely to chat with.  Today she laughed with me about the Candy Lady.  She had watched the whole thing unfold.  “I bet you didn’t think you’d actually be glad to give that candy to your kid!” She teased.

Truth. I didn’t realize the offensive sugar gift would end up being a treasure in my day.

Oh dear. How often do I judge, or shrug off, or throw out the gifts God brings me?

Tonight I’m thinking about the “dum-dums” in my life.  Circumstances, experiences, opportunities, closed-doors, people.  I need to be more open to the possibility that they are all gifts I will draw from in the days, months or years ahead.

How are you? Had any Candy Lady experiences lately?
Want to read through the Bible with me?  Today’s readings Psalm 108; Acts 12:1-25
The words that stood out to me today: My heart is confident in you, O God (Psalm 108:1) // I’m wearing a heart monitor for three weeks to try to work out a murmur issue.  I am praying, Father may my heart be confident in you.

What do you think?