I saw a mother today who hopefully feels less alone in this big crazy world after encountering me.
The kids and I had finished our fast food lunch and nap-inducing playground time. We were about to get into our vehicle to head home. The SUV next to us had doors open on both sides, one of which was blocking me from putting Tyler in. As first I was a bit annoyed. After all, Tyler's not light anymore and I didn't have just him...there was the diaper bag, my purse, my drink...I didn't really want to drop anything.
The annoyance instantly turned to sympathy when she came around the back of her car trying to manage a smile and holding tightly to the hand of a little girl, probably just starting to potty train. The little girl was obviously in need of a bathroom, highlighted by the fact that she was literally holding it...in the adorable way kids do. When they're other people's kids, that is.
The harried mom said, "I'm sorry. Someone had to make a pit stop. I'll be just a minute I have to get the other one out too."
"You're fine. Really. Take the time you need. My other two just got in on the other side. I understand."
I had all the strength I needed to not drop a thing and smile and talk to the little one while mom had her head in the car unstrapping the littler one. I hope as she walked across the parking lot she felt okay, less stressed, and hopeful. I do remember those days of having to unload one or two kids who can't unload themselves for a reason I'm not convinced is good enough. I know there were times that an understanding smile and nod left me feeling like there was a light at the end of my tunnel. I hope I passed a little of that on to her. Just a little.