To the Mommy at Baskin Robbins

I don't know your name.  Or your story.  But for just a moment yesterday, you were me.  Or I was you.  You loaded two adorable little girls in your minivan and called a quick "Buckle up!" over your shoulder.  They appeared to be about 3 and 6 and you dressed them alike.  Except for their blonde ponytails, they were mine a couple of decades ago.  I couldn't be sure but I think I even saw an infant seat on the other side.  You were me.  Hurried and a tad bit harried.  Yep, you were me.

And I just wanted to call out to you and hug you and look in your eyes and tell you that you are a great Mom.  I don't know what brought you to Baskin Robbins an hour before dinner but the milky smears on the little's one face that didn't get quite wiped off tell me it was worth your trip.  Way to go, Mommy.  Way to go.  I'm glad you didn't worry about it ruining their dinner.  It probably did but there'll be dinner tomorrow and next week and the week after.  And there won't always be time for an ice cream cone.  There'll be things to hurry to forever but you won't always get to dress them alike and fix those ponytails.  I am so glad you did today.  Way to go.  You are doing a great job. 

I don't know your story, it is true, but I'll bet you wonder sometimes if you are doing a great job.  Even good enough.  But I'll bet you are.  And I wish I could speak life into you and promise you that what you are doing matters.  I wouldn't tell you to "enjoy it because it'll be gone too soon".  Nope.  I would tell you that you are a doing a worthy work and I would cheer from the sidelines.

Parenting is hard. It is the greatest blessing of my life but it is hard.  Every single stage has tough parts to it and no matter in which one we find ourselves, we think it's the hardest.  And we try and convince anyone in another stage that our current one is tougher.  But I remember the "dress-alike-ponytail" stage.  I loved it.  And I wondered if I would survive it.  I think the Marines stole their theme line from Moms -- MOTHERHOOD is the toughest job you'll ever love!!

Ice cream Mommy - keep it up.  Way to go.  I hope you got donuts from the shop next door, too.  Just because they asked. And I hope you didn't even worry about a sugar high or what anybody else thought.  I hope that somehow, across the parking lot, you could sense my silent applause.

Next time I see you - or one of the hundreds that seem to be my reflection in the mirror - the ice cream's on me.  Atta girl!


Originally posted on September 12,2013