Do you see me? My gallant effort to put one foot in front of the other today. Would you believe a slight smile broke through? Did you see it? Ohhh … I hope you didn’t miss it. It was beautiful. I still can’t believe the oohs and ahhs that rang from my dining room table as they were completely unaware of how I stretched that meal and coerced money into doing the right thing. I even fed one more than usual today … inflation … he has been showing up to everything lately. And yes, baked spaghetti can be gourmet, and my presentation was delightful, if I say so myself.
I served today. Did you see me? A client of mine, in complete distress, skipped away with hope in one hand and her two twin toddlers in the other. She looked good! I could see the yellow brick road before her. Guess what? She helped me hold on to the dream of keeping my business today. I felt it slipping. Have you heard? I was told that there’s a pandemic lost and found. I went today and recovered a family heirloom, TENACITY. My mother wore it as a cape. I reconstructed it as my “Phoebe Buffay” scarf and can’t wait to see what my daughter does with it and how she shares it with friends!
I almost forgot …
I saw you today.
I assumed that maybe you and I were having the same kind of day. The whispers that you shared with someone over how tired I looked made me think that you, too, have had these kinds of days. You know, the days that seem to never end. The days where it seems that if one more brick (since moms are always building) is added to our fragile glass plate, it would completely shatter.
When the many hats that we wear need to be put away, there’s no rack for them to rest upon. I knew that you probably were focused on championing through and sprinting to your finish line of the day, so maybe, just maybe, you needed a gracious smile and a sweet, quiet “you can make it.” So, I pulled back the muscles in my face as hard as I could and pushed through my non-existent lunch hour, and let go of one of my very best! Can you feel it? I know how much light and warmth they bring.
Oh, I saw you again, but this time on the train. I just couldn’t figure out the giggles that seemed to overtake you as you overheard me share about my child’s tantrums and how no matter what I tried, it seemed to only encourage them. But I anxiously looked for that smile, the warmth, the light to be boomeranged right back to me. I silenced all the noise from other passengers and waited for the muscles in your face to cheer loudly in my favor.
SILENCE is all I heard.
It’s coming up— my stop is being announced. I thought you saw me. My efforts, my pressing, my hope. I can’t afford to miss my stop … you know, good ole laundry’s waiting for me. Did you want to say something? No. Ok. I’m sure we’ll SEE each other again.
The language spoken between us should be one that spares judgment and leads with compassion. It’s one where empathy should sit. I know I can recall many times in this motherhood journey when my feet found it hard to stand. Please remember that behind our words, one to another, are beautiful, amazing, little humans, their hearts, and the MIND of the woman responsible for building them. She’s navigating the “How to’s” of what every loving parent hopes to give their child.
Will you see her?
Can you see her?
Speak an encouraging word. Lend a listening ear. Just whatever you do … don’t be the last rock thrown that shatters the only glass window she looks through! Just remember that the first day of your new season could be the last hurdle in her current season, clearing the way for her to blossom in the season to come! Here’s to being human and doing our very best with this simple post-it note as a reminder to encourage that mother when we see her.