I was recently with the kids at our local bookstore. We were all seated in the café reading books when an older woman walked in with a young man I assumed was her son. He was about 25 years old and using a walker and was obviously straining with each step. She was mothering him and clearly panicked by each step.
I could see he grew frustrated with her putting her hand on his back and his walker and her whispered urgent instructions to “be careful” and “easy does it.”
In fact, he grew so frustrated he raised his voice at her in front of everyone. “Why are you all over me?”
She was surprised at his outburst but it didn’t stop her from aiding him. Her hands never moved from his back. He asked again, this time louder. “Why are you all over me?” he yelled.
She finally leaned in and whispered, “If you fall I’m not strong enough to pick you up anymore.”
This stunned him for a moment. He had nothing to say to that. He lowered his eyes and took the last three steps to his chair and collapsed into it. Her hands never left him.
She went up to the counter and ordered him some food and a drink. He sat there silently. When she came back and sat down he reached his hand out quickly and patted hers. She was looking through her pocketbook for something and she looked up and she dismissed his silent apology and affection with a dismissive wave. But she stopped looking through her pocketbook. She relaxed in her chair and smiled at him.
If that’s not a love to learn from I don’t know what is.