I have to admit something.
I am not much of an adventurer or traveler. I used to be in my young and free (read: childless) days. I remember those days when I could just bounce out the door to visit some far away place, like, that wasn’t Target. All I needed was a pair of shoes, my car keys, and my wallet because DIET COKE.
Now it is too much effort to go anywhere that isn’t Target when you have two littles in tow. Granted, one of them is not so little anymore but there is still wailing and gnashing of teeth at the mere suggestion that socks and shoes should be put on before leaving the house.
But MOOOOOOM. I CAN’T PUT ON DEEEZ SOCKS. THEY ARE CRUNCHING MY TOESSSSS.
When did socks become tiny crushers of toes? Have I missed something in the Mom Manual vol. 6? Should we protest sock companies for a less toe-crunching version of their sweet stretchy cotton foot coverings?
This past weekend I was gifted the most glorious gift ever with a solo trip to Charleston to see some friends. ALONE. Did you hear me? I was A-L-O-N-E. I only had to worry about my socks not crunching MY toes (no problem there). I didn’t have to worry about anyone eating, having enough pairs of underwear, was there enough diapers, where will the next potty be and how long can I stretch between little people naps without crossing over into the point of no return?
Glorious I tell you.
As I was deplaning in Atlanta (my ultimate favorite city of all time, traffic be darned) a woman reached out to me and asked me if I shop at Target.
Why yes, yes I do sweet lady who shares my affinity for adorable housewares and storage containers. How could you tell? Was it a good guess based on my general Young Mom Uniform (jeggings, oversized sweater, epic blanket scarf) or did you just recognize my amazing boots that I was wearing and assume they must be from Target? Either way I am pretty sure we are now best friends.
She quickly realized I was looking at her as odd as she must have felt and quickly filled in the blanks. She remembered me from Target the day prior because she overheard a couple of conversations I was having with Chicken Little in regards to fashion.
No Mommy, that dress will NOT make you feel spectaculawr, I fink you need to twy dis one on instead.
Mommy, pwease twy on deez boots. Your feet need to feel spectaculawr for your twip, too.
I’ll be durned if he wasn’t right. Somewhere at Parsons, Tim Gunn is smiling. I can’t make this stuff up even if I tried.
She laughed as she recounted to me the memories she had raising her boys (now in their 20s) and thanked me for the reminder that sweet little boys who love their mamas still exist. I could see that look, I recognized that look. That mischievous twinkle in her eyes that she too, knew the struggle of perfectly-timed boy farts and of mud pies and sloppy kisses. The one that says the days are long but the years are short and that look of true camaraderie. Mamas somehow all know how to recognize each other and how to give that look of solidarity, especially boy moms. Of this I am convinced.
I am also convinced that if we could stop for a minute each day and look to someone and bring a word of joy, of peace, of comfort, of unity that it likely won’t be rejected. In fact, it might even bring a bit of we’re in this together-ism to the tired and the weary among us. I don’t believe the whole world will be fixed by an act of kindness or a smile or a thank you. But maybe, just maybe, it can put a bandaid on the brokenness.
Even just for a moment.