All I could do was cover my hand over my mouth and try to hide the laughter. It exploded out of my body and the woman glared at me so I quickly said "Oh no no I'm not laughing at you. I mean I am laughing at you, or with you really but I'm laughing because I AM you. I mean I was. (About 12 years ago anyway.)"
And so yeah I was totally laughing at her. Busted.
My fairy tale shattered somewhere between apologizing to the librarian who was escorting us out of story time because my precious child who talks at volume ONE THOUSAND wouldn’t hush, and apologizing to the Kroger cashier trying to guess how many grapes she had eaten before I had a chance to pay, all the while she was hurling items out of my buggy onto the floor of my humiliation.
Then there was the neighbor who uninvited us to the weekly play date until my daughter did one of two things. 1-stopped making the F sound in place of the T sound. (speech developmental issue) Or 2- stopped playing with Fire *T*rucks. Let that sink in. Got it? That was a strange phase .
There were too many blunders to count including the time my 2 year old locked me out of the house for over an hour and I used a neighbors hammer to bang off the backdoor handle, because after all there was a 4 day old newborn I just delivered inside too. I think that was the day I discovered "hide a key rocks" really were all the rage...
Begged Him to not let them recall the long hours they spent “playing in the crib “so I could grab a moment of sanity. And you know what moms…turns out there is a reason we can’t remember anything before age 4. God heard our pleas. We get to start out our journey in the toughest job of our lifetime with a learning curve of about 3 or 4 years. Thank you Lord.
When I walk around town with my now eight years old and up children, I’m a little less frazzled. I actually get to have a shower…every single day…amazing right? I drink hot coffee without fear of scalding a baby if it splashes over the mug, two cups even. We go to public bathrooms and everyone wipes their own butt, and scrubs their own hands…it’s like a miracle really. They buckle themselves in the car, look both ways before they cross the street, and order their own food at a restaurant. Can you even imagine? They even babysit themselves so my man and I can run out late at night for a movie. It is pure awesomeness. Hang tight ladies.... It's coming.
You will no longer sleep with your ears tuned to a baby monitor or wipe boogers with the inside of your sleeve. Soon. Very soon. You will rise to the sound of a clock alarm and you will not wonder if it’s because the children have died in the middle of the night…the fear of dark will soon be removed and it will once again be reserved for sex and sound sleep…Oh yeah, I went there. Your body will one day, without hesitation, be returned to your husband, because you know... your boobs won't be human bottles anymore. It's ridiculously wondrous.
Very soon the child who couldn't tie her shoes until first grade will be slipping on high heels and her knees that were once covered in scabs from learning to ride her bike will be smooth from shaving. She will ace her PSAT and you will be tempted to call the preschool teacher with the results of the child she labeled "unable to focus". (Really tired of labels for preschoolers y'all. )
Those of us, (I'm raising my hand) that had preschoolers who nearly got you “dismissed” from Sunday Wee School because hands are being used to pinch her friends and that mouth of hers isn't so much singing Jesus Loves Me like the rest of the kids but rather biting the arm of the little boy who apparently won't share the blocks. That little punk, I mean toddler will one day stand next to you in The Chapel with her hands raised high in worship. Yes...it happens. God favors you Mom...
It will all return to “normal” whatever that looks like, very very soon, so would you do me a favor and be kind to yourself? Grace. Grace. Grace.
I’m laughing with you, not at you, when all hell breaks loose in the grocery store, waiting rooms, and restaurants. I’m cheering you on when that little devil escapes from your death grip in the parking lot and takes off running like a Kenyan Olympic gold medalist. I’ll drive slowly and I’ll slam on brakes for you. I’ll hold the door when I see your hips covered in car seats and diaper bags. I’ll let you cut in line, I’ll respect your "Baby On Board" sticker and not ride your bumper, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt every time when I see your grip on their arm tightening , and I’m whispering prayers for you sister…I really am. You can do this. I know you can.
Very soon you will be handing her a Starbucks, trying on jeans together and talking about boys. And you will watch her in awe as she sprints across finish lines and gets elected to represent her class for student government. She will not recall your failed attempts while gaining your footing as her mother…she will be secure and rooted deep in your love, because you've put in the long hours. And it will be beautiful…and it’s right around the corner.
All I want to do is reach through the computer screen and hug you tight. The kind of hug that feels like a piece chocolate melting in your mouth…sweet with a kick of sugar to get you through the day. I want to tell you that you are important, and you are doing an amazing job. Soon, in the blink of an eye, this season will be gone. And you will be proud of the work you put into that baby and you WILL see the fruits of your labor pay off.