Many of you may have already read this but my moratorium for republishing it is over now (yes I actually got paid for this one), so I wanted to put it out there. I submitted the following in response to a Editor’s Query. The questions was:
“Tell us about a time a total stranger made a lasting impression.”
My response: which I think every single mother can connect with:
There are some days when everything goes right. But I’m a mother of four children, and, honestly, those days are not the rule. When things get crazy and I am about to lose my mind, I remember the words of a stranger after a particularly difficult outing.
At the time, I had a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old, an 18-month old and a new-born. I won’t relate the gory details; let’s just say that at the end of our family hike that morning, my four sweet boys were all in their car seats screaming, and I was standing behind our SUV, throwing strollers and yelling. Finally, I slammed the door shut and sat on the truck’s rear bumper with my head hanging down, bemoaning my abysmal parenting skills.
Just then, two women appeared and started getting into their car. I looked up, a bit ashamed, and said,
“Very tough day.”
They smiled back, and, with no condescension, one said,
“Don’t worry; there’ll be other days.”
Her comment didn’t judge my mothering skills or my children or offer advice on what I was doing wrong. It was a purely kind thing to say, a statement of hope and perspective that reminded me that no matter how tough things can get, there will be times that make it all worthwhile.
Parenting Tip of the Day:
Now that my boys are older, our separations are a bit easier so the use of the Hershey kiss jar in my previous post isn’t necessary. Still, after a holiday like Valentine’s Day I stock up on small stuffed animals when they are marked down to a quarter or so. Before I leave (yes I’ve had a few separations from them) I spray them with my perfume and leave them on the boy’s beds. I’m told the squeals they let out when they discover their gifts at bed time are truly heartwarming. Sometimes I even leave one for my hubby.