To the mom who apologized to me for her son’s behavior at Target: Don’t.
Don’t ever apologize to anyone about your kids, especially when your kids are happy and healthy. Especially when it’s because they are running around and enjoying life, laughing and playing together.
Don’t worry about whom they are bothering. Who cares? They are kids. They are healthy. They are happy. They are enjoying their life, just like any typical 2-year-old should.
Not long ago, only a few short months back, that was me. I was apologizing for my rambunctious and energetic 2-year-old boy. He would be laughing, running, and screeching entirely too loudly while running up and down the aisles, playing peekaboo.
That was us. We were you.
For the first time since my son’s diagnosis with leukemia, I wanted to scream at this woman. I wanted to grab her and shake her profusely. I wanted to tell her that I wish that was me. I wish that was my biggest problem in life — my son’s laugh and who it might bother in public.
I wanted to tell her that I wish I could see my baby run up and down the toy aisle at Target. That I was there to pick out something special to celebrate day 29 of his treatment. I wanted to tell her it was okay. Hell, I wish I could even bring my baby to Target, but with his compromised immune system that could land him in the ICU, or even worse, that could kill him.
I wish I could hear my son laughing in a store.
I wish I could apologize because he pulled toys off the shelf.
After watching my baby lay in a hospital bed for literally a month straight, there’s a whole lot of truth to the saying, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.”
I can’t wait for the day my sweet boy can enjoy his normal life. When he can enjoy going to the Target toy aisle. I will never take a simple Target trip with him for granted ever again.
This post originally appeared on The Mighty.