A Small Token

Over the last few months I've seen several articles, via Facebook, centering around women lifting other women up. Earlier this week I took both of my girls to their check up appointments (alone, for the first time, both of them ... it was a successful mom day). When we were leaving I noticed the receptionists hair, it was blonde and curly, it was adorable. So many times I have these thoughts and just don't even think to say anything. I have been making an effort to do this more often. After telling the receptionist that I loved her hair she beamed and said, thank you. She really meant it too. It wasn't a half hearted, "thanks, it takes too long, it's not working right today, you should've seen it yesterday," kind of thank you. It was a genuine thank you.

This got me thinking. Part of being able to give is being able to receive graciously as well.

Early this morning I got a text message from a dear friend asking if we would like to meet her and her two boys at the Butterfly Pavilion right down the street from our house. Funny, we had tried to plan this outing several times and it didn't work out. But, as a last minute whim, it did. Seems like that's the way to go when you have kids. If it works, it works, if not then try again on another day when things are going smoothly with your babies. Anyway, I had a lovely time talking with her and enjoyed watching Karoline follow her oldest around. All the while I was thinking how cute her outfit was and I never did take the time to tell her. So, Nicki, your outfit was adorable and you look great, truly.

After the Butterfly Pavilion we retreated to Nicki's minivan to tend to our little babies. The big kids were able to watch a movie. This was great. I am officially ready to take the minivan plunge. With two small kids I can't think of a better car.

With the little ones taken care of it was time to get some lunch for ourselves and the big kiddos. We joked about how "meals" don't exist anymore. We both make an effort to order and make food that can be consumed with one hand or while bouncing a baby in a chest carrier. I openly admitted that I've been offering Karoline an M&M at times when I need her to do things and I am just not willing to have to argue with her about it. Note: Karoline always counters my M&M offer with, "Mine have two M&M's... please." The girl should be a lawyer, she drives a hard bargain. In true mom to mom fashion Nicki admitted to doing the same with her son. There are just so many things that are more important. Pick your battles, a valuable lesson when it comes to raising kids.

I need to get back to my original point for this blog. One article I read said that we need to lift each other up and not judge one another. While we were sitting and eating I felt as though I was getting the, "You have two small children, they are so close in age... You're so young," looks. Who knows if I really was. But, I have to say, I'm pretty intuitive. It was somewhat disheartening to me, I don't need to justify or explain my family to anyone. Period.

After our lunch we said good bye to our friends. However, I had to jump back in line to get some lunch to take home to my husband. I mean, what kind of wife would I be if I didn't, right? Anyway, I have forgotten to mention that this entire day Karoline had listened to every thing I had said to her and had obeyed every command (I hadn't even used the M&M bargain yet). She really does a great job of listening when we are out and about. I think she knows that in order to continue getting to do fun things she has to be well behaved. Either that or we so rarely go do things that she soaks up every bit of it and is happy to oblige. Whatever it is, I'll take it. We ordered Tim's food, she followed me down the isle and waited patiently to pick it up. Then we made our way towards the door. I was constantly checking to make sure she was following me. We were almost to the door when I realized there was a woman following us. I politely asked her if she would like to pass us by because we move kind of slow and take up a lot of room (I had Alexandra in her car seat). She smiled and said, "No, I'm following you to give you this. You have such a well mannered and beautiful little girl." At that point she reached out and told me, "This is for you," and handed me a sticker. I was able to read it quickly and could barely get out a thank you before we were out the door and the woman was on her way to go eat her lunch.

When I got outside to collect myself before conquering the parking lot with my kiddos I got to look at the sticker again. I couldn't believe that someone had taken the time to notice me, as a mom in a positive way, let alone do something to bring tears of joy to my eyes. Shoot, I'm tearing up now just typing about it. Occasionally I think about having a "real" job and how rewarding that might be at times. But, today the sticker that woman gave me means more to me than any promotion or plaque at a "real" job ever would. I'm not entirely sure what to do with this sticker yet, but I know it will be something that I treasure forever. Seriously, tears rolling down my cheeks here. When I think about it it's easy for me to think... I don't deserve this, I make so many mistakes, others deserve something like this more than I do... but that would defeat the purpose of her giving it to me. I would not be receiving graciously.

To the woman who gave me this sticker at the Panera Bread on 104th and Reed St. in Westminster today, thank you. Your kindness did not go unnoticed and I truly appreciate you taking the time to acknowledge the hard work that I put into raising my children. They are my greatest accomplishments.

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