My mom has given me a few days off these past couple of weeks. She's taken Duke for the afternoon so I could be out and about, doing whatever I wanted.
One day, I went to Target and sipped on Starbucks at my leisure. I gazed at organizational bins and crates for entirely too long, I drooled over home decor, and I even had time to snap a selfie in the dressing room to show my excitement.
Today, I went to counseling, ran 2 miles, got my hair trimmed, went to Old Navy, and cashed some checks. Now, I'm sitting at Cuppies and Joe, drinking a decaf mocha, and attempting to clean out/organize the ridiculousness of pictures on my computer.
But something has distracted me.
While I was enjoying my peaceful stay at Cuppies, in comes a really flustered mom with her 2 1/2 year old and newborn. I'm talking new newborn. She parked her stroller outside of Cuppies and wobbled in with her baby in the carrier and her toddler holding her hand.
She sat the toddler down at a table to present him with a cupcake for going pee-pee at school that day. Then she did something awful. Something world-ending.
She cut his cupcake in half.
"Nooo! Mommy! Not cut it!" over and over. She kindly explained to him that it would be easier to eat like this, but no, he wasn't having it. With her mommy powers, she stood the halves back up together to make a whole. He wasn't totally convinced, but he gave in and ate the cupcake anyway.
"Mommy, where's your cupcake?" he asked.
"Honey, I didn't get one. I just got one for you."
Meanwhile, the newborn was screaming. He needed her too. While her toddler savored every little bite, her baby demanded a nursing session. She sweetly told her toddler to finish up so they could get home to feed the baby. She scooped up the carrier, grabbed the toddler's hand, carried the plate to the bin full of dirty dishes, and loaded the kids up in the stroller.
This entire thing unfolded over the course of probably 6 minutes.
All of this for 6 minutes of cupcake glory for my toddler. Was it even worth it? she may have thought.
I sat back in my quiet corner, so affected by all of it.
I wanted to hug this mom and tell her she's doing such a good job. The effort it took for her to make this trip was huge. And she didn't have to do it. Nobody made her. She still would've been a great mom if she'd given her toddler an ice cream cone from the drive-thru of Braum's.
But today, she decided to give him an experience.
She gave him quality time and attention.
She focused on his accomplishment and celebrated him.
She displayed love, kindness, gentleness, and patience when it was hard and thankless.
But that's what moms do.
I'm the first to say that I love my time and getting to do things however and whenever I want to. But there's nothing like being a mom. There's nothing like giving your life away.
I'm proud to be in this club of yoga pant wearers, van drivers, stroller pushers, and Target-goers. I'm proud to be a mom.