Dear random lady behind me at Walmart today,

Today was not one of our golden days at the store. I’m sure you couldn’t help but notice us in the checkout line. While my daughter was unbelievably vocal about her refusal to sit in the cart/wear her shoes/stop trying to eat grapes straight out of the produce bag, my son continued to chant something about Transformer stickers to anyone who would listen. You saw me fumbling for coupons and my credit card with an unhappy kicking toddler in one arm and a three year old leeched onto my leg. What you didn’t see was me plopping my tearful son in a corner of Walmart in the name of Time Out just minutes prior. Really, it was just one of those days.

Sometimes on these sort of days, I can feel the stares and I can sense the judgment. But you, Miss Lady in the Cute Workout Clothes- you were different. Because as I walked out of that store this morning feeling completely inadequate and deflated, I heard you chuckle behind me. I must have turned around, for you proceeded to tell me that watching our antics brought back memories of raising her children, also close in age. You told me that they, too, were difficult to shop with, and you reassured me that it only became easier.

I shook my head and thanked you, and then you said something that changed my entire outlook this morning. You told me that I was doing a good job. I mean, sure, you don’t really know how I parent and what goes down at our home, but in that moment, you could not have said anything more encouraging or needed.

Yes, I drove home with my daughter still shoeless and screaming, but your encouragement gave me that extra little pep in my step this afternoon to think that maybe, just maybe, I’m doing an okay job with this whole mothering thing after all.

Thanks for looking out for the young, weary moms out there. I’m glad I could bring some laughter into your morning.

The mom of the really loud children in the checkout line

2 Comments on dear random lady…

  1. Great post, Catherine. I want to be that kind of encouraging mom when I am at a store and having a good day. When I'm having a bad day, that really is just the kind of pick me up I need.

  2. Catherine, this scene is all to familiar. I greatly disliked going to the grocery store with my children and distinctly remember then time when we had gotten to the check out and Cayce (I think) grabbed the eggs and promptly dropped them on the floor. It was very embarrassing and while it wasn't my last trip with them I did everything I could after that to minimize the times with all of them.

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