Today was one of those days where I felt like not being a mom for a while. Just for a few hours, to not have the responsibility of feeding, teaching, entertaining two tots all day. It wasn’t a particularly bad day at all. It wasn’t one of those days where nothing goes right. I just had other things I wanted to do.
By evening, I was ready to get out of the house, and I’d forgotten to thaw something for dinner, so my dear husband was happy to pick us up. We ran down the street for pizza, and had our usual enjoyable but never-dull dinner with the kids. (“Please don’t say ‘poopies’ at the table.”)
We don’t usually like to eat dinner out much with the kids…it’s just a little too challenging for all of us. Shane and I are constantly taking turns cutting food, helping the little one take a sip of her water, and trying to get Ollie-bear to stay in his seat instead of migrating into one of our laps. We try to make the most of it, but it’s stressful…and at the end of all of that, we have to go and pay for our food! Blech!
Tonight after we finished up, Shane took the kiddos out to the car while I waited to see if I could get a cup of tea to go. (Waitress never came back, unfortunately.) An elderly couple was sitting at the next table, and the man motioned for me to come over.
“We’ve been watching your family throughout dinner,” he said. “We were blessed with six children of our own.” (He paused, which told me there was much more to that story, and I wished I could have heard what he was thinking.) Wistfully he said, “Just hug ’em as much as you can. They’re gone before you know it.” Then he finished with, “You look like good parents.”
I thanked him and agreed that they were a blessing, and briefly told him a little about our two miracles. He ended with a “God bless” and I returned it.
As I walked out to join my family in the car…Shane still struggling to get them both in…I thought about those few sentences, and how nice it was that he decided to share them, and how much it meant to me that this complete stranger could look at me with my babies and think I’m a good parent. And how sweet it felt to hear that.
Our food was terrible tonight. But I didn’t complain as I slipped into my seat and felt my big 4-year-old’s arms reach around the headrest to give me a hug. And I hugged back, humbled.
Believe it or not, after that we had to make a short run to the grocery store. As the kids broke down in the produce aisle (it was pushing 7 o’clock and someone got too close to someone else’s Batman mask), my husband leaned over and gave me a kiss and said, “These are special times.” And there was absolutely no sarcasm in his voice.
I finished the day as usual, kids in bed with me downstairs cleaning up the mess of the day and missing them like crazy. Ready to do it again tomorrow.
Oh, that reminds me. I better go thaw something now!