"This is a tomato" I told him, placing it in the clear plastic produce bag along with a few others.
"May-toe!", he repeated enthusiastically.
"These are going to be great with our tacos tonight. Mmmm ... tacos." I smiled at him.
"Mmmmm," he smiled back.
As we moved a few steps down to pick out some garlic and onions, I noticed a middle-aged man watching us from across the produce bins. I smiled politely, as I was accustomed to doing when out with my baby, and returned to my veggie scouting.
Unlike most polite stranger interactions, this man continued to stare. It made me uncomfortable. I looked up at him again, this time no smile, as if to say, what's your deal, buddy? He took it from there.
"That's a mighty good lookin' boy you got there." He stared at my toddler who was babbling quietly to himself. "He's gonna have a lot of lovers when he gets older. A lot of lovers." With that last sentence, the man looked at me with a pleasant smile. I guess he thought he had paid me a compliment.
The horrified look on my face must have indicated otherwise.
I quickly turned my back and shielded Micah from this man's view and began to make a quick exit. Oh my word! Was about all I could think. This man is a total creep!
The stranger must have noticed how uncomfortable this whole conversation was for me and likely, how inappropriate it was. In an effort to redeem himself, he added one last gold nugget before he left.
"Um ... I uh ... I meant a lot of female lovers. Females, is what I meant."
I widened my eyes and shook my head in disbelief. His clarification most certainly did not make me any more comfortable with this whole interchange! Thankfully he left very quickly and we did not see him again.
In between checking over my shoulder to make sure this guy wasn't following us and managing Micah in the cart while still attempting to finish the grocery trip, I was trying to process what had just happened. I was confused and shocked and a thousand other unidentified emotions. I mean ... whoa. Really? How crazy was that?!
As we drove home, the groceries bags arranged, tetris-style, into the trunk and Micah buckled safely in his carseat, I thought about what happened in the grocery store. This man was clearly way, way, wayyyy out of line. But, I think what made me the most upset is that he thought he was paying me a compliment by saying, because of his good looks, Micah was destined for life as a successful womanizer. And, I think what bothered me most about that is, being a womanizer is not at all a characteristic I would want to define my son. Not in the least.
Imagine, twenty years from now, Josh and I sitting down with old friends and catching up on life over the past several years. We'd pull out the family album and laugh and reminisce with our friends about old times and share stories of parenthood as we flipped through pictures of our kids' growing up years. And then we'd get to a picture of Micah. Still with his same sparkling blue eyes, but his face older and chiseled and quite handsome. And we'd say, "There's our Micah. He's an amazing man. You know, he brings a different girl home every night? Sometimes even two!" And Josh and I would exchange a loving glance and he would pull me in for a tender side hug as if to say, we did it. There's our son. We're so proud. Sigh.
Ummmmm ... no. Not on your life, pal.
To my sweet, wonderful, amazing son, if you ever read this, here is what Mommy and Daddy truly hope for your future ...
[He] must be blameless,
And this is my prayer for you, my sweet guy, to help you get there ...
The world will try to tell you otherwise, my big man. They'll deceive you into thinking Jesus's way is antiquated and uncool. But, in reality, it is the way to true happiness in this life and beyond. Please don't stray. But, if you do, we will always be here to help point you back in the right direction. You are so special to us, and to the Lord too. Don't ever forget it.