To the Sweet Woman at Giant

The past few weeks have been hard (you may have noticed). Like the kind of weeks that haunt you as a parent, that make you question every decision you make, that make you question why on earth you ever had children in the first place.

Ok. Maybe that was a bit melodramatic. But sometimes I can be so sharp. So impatient. So unkind with my words and actions. They're one and three. I hear so often how hard I am on them, that my expectations are too high. But what if I'm that way with them because that's all I know? Or that's all I can do to cope on a day to day basis?

On a beautiful afternoon the other day, Mr. Kuda had been out of town for several weeks, in and out for work, and we hadn't been to the grocery store in over a week. We had to go. Mr. C started this weird 18 month year old kick where he decided not to sleep for more than a few hours at a time, and I was back in newborn mode: a walking zombie, trying to get through each day, short on patience and rest and "ME" time. This was after we'd suffered the three year old "I don't want to poop on the potty anymore, even though I've been potty trained for over a year and my parents are going to lose it" month and a half. Momma was (and is) spent.

The first few days of this particular week were actually going pretty well. It turns out, that as much as I tell myself that this isn't so, the three year old in fact does dictate my mood. She shouldn't, but when she's happy, it's a pretty good bet that the rest of us are. Even when the rest of us are sleep deprived beyond what's healthy.

Back to the grocery store.

The kids were being really good; I even let Miss E have a sample of some sort of 'carmel vanilla mocha gelato.' Mr. C didn't want any, as he doesn't like anything he's never seen before, because he's 18 months old and that's what he does. I was trying to be patient while cursing to myself for not writing a list. Because if I can't remember what I wanted to pick up at the store when I've had 5 or 6 hours of straight sleep, I'm not sure why I thought I could remember what I needed after only a handful of hours of sleep over the past three days.

As we got in line to check out, Miss E asked me to hold her trash of the melted 'carmel ice cream,' and I, as patiently as humanly possible, because in my brain I was still making sure I had gotten the God-forsaken-bananas that must exist in our house lest the 1 year old lose it the moment he wakes up and doesn't have a banana for breakfast, said, "Honey. Hold on to it. We will find a garbage can, but I am not holding your trash right now." Five seconds later, I watch her slowly, but deliberately take the end of her spoon and put it into the ear of her brother.

"E. Please don't put the spoon in your brother's ear. That's not safe."

"Ok, mommy."

Shock. Isn't this how it's supposed to work every time you correct your child?

Two minutes later as I'm asking the cashier if I've swept my card yet, because I don't remember my last name, much less what I did five seconds ago. A woman taps me on my shoulder.

"I'm so sorry to bother you, honey, but I have to just comment on something..."

And the tears are already starting to well up because this week has been just so hard, and I just have no patience, and I just probably said something awful to my children and she's going to tell me what I'm doing wrong (this would not be the first time this has happened). And I just have so much of that in my life, even if it's not directly... The world telling me to be more patient with my kids, be more kind, cultivate a friendship, do more. Always do more. Be more.

"Your children are precious. Whatever you're doing, you're doing right, so keep doing it. I know that these are hard days, but whatever you do, keep going. You'll see the fruit of it as they get older."

Bless that woman.

Because isn't that what we need to hear every once and awhile? Don't we need to hear that we're doing it right? Even when we know we falter, we are just humans, after all.

Encourage your sisters. Your mothers. Your friends. Encourage them. Because you don't know, when what you think you're seeing looks like pure bliss, in actual fact it's just a mom trying to keep her wits about her just for the moment she's in the public eye.  Because we've all been there. We've all lost our patience. We've all said the wrong thing at the wrong time. But we get up the next day, and try again because we have to.

Encourage each other. Please. This sweet sweet woman, who owes me nothing. Who knows me from nowhere, blessed me today more than I could ever know was possible. She, without knowing, empowered me as a mother and as a woman and as someone who's just trying to do good in this hard, hard world.

Be that blessing. Be that light that someone needs. You will never regret being kind, but only what you were too afraid to say.

I just have to add this tid bit of the story, because you wouldn't have noticed if you weren't standing exactly where I was in that very same moment. Behind this sweet, sweet, wonderful woman, was a man. LIkely her husband. Beaming. So proud. Be this woman. Love on someone who needs it. You never know who's watching.

Until next time,
Mrs. Kuda

Linking up this week with Amanda at Serenity Now!

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