I am that mom. I am that mom you see at the store with an entourage of little people with her. I am that mom who has sons and daughters hold the cart while we walk together through the store. I am that mom who takes up way too much room with her cart (or carts) and I am in your way. I am that mom who encourages her children to take as long as they need to to read the ingredient list before we put it in the basket. I am that mom who say’s no to her child asking for the tenth time to go down the Lego aisle. I am that mom who stops to talk in the middle of the aisle because I saw a friend, (Thank you for going around me.) I am that mom who smiles at you and you have no idea why. I am that mom who opens the package of snacks before we get to the checkout and then pays for it afterward. I am that mom who expects her child to help unload the full grocery cart with her and reminds him often how to do it. I am that mom who says no to her child when they want me to pay for something they wanted but didn’t bring the money for. I am that mom who stands at the check out watching every move her son makes. I am that mom who reminds him repeatedly to keep his eyes focused on the goal–putting the bagged groceries in the cart. I am that mom who pulls her son to the side, while looking deep into his eyes, and reminds him to help–again…and again. I am that mom who cannot find her checkbook or debit card, the one who may have multiple transactions on one purchase. I am that mom who makes you wait a little longer. I am that mom.
I am that mom because rather than leave my kids at home to go shopping, I would rather my mom or older daughters come with me to keep me company or be my extra hands. I am that mom because my kids will not see you shopping, they will get in the way of your cart, and so I must keep them close. I am that mom because once I turn my head to look for what I need on the shelf, my grade school kids let go of the cart, begin wandering towards prettier boxes on the shelf, and it takes me much longer to snag the spaghetti. I am that mom because reading the boxes with my kids helps them take responsibility for their own allergies. I am that mom because my child has an obsession with Legos and if we go down that aisle, he will ask me incessantly for the box he wants through every remaining aisle and then after we are home for days–possibly weeks. I am that mom who will proceed to forget what she came to the store for. I am that mom who’s been hungry for a connection, so I will savor my moment with a trusted friend. I am that mom who smiles because that’s all the loving kindness I have to offer with the strength and time I have. I am that mom who has children with trauma history and some of it involves hunger, so they cannot wait until check out for a snack because the shopping experience always takes far longer than mom expected. I am that mom who trains her children to participate in the grocery shopping process so they will gain understanding, care more about the work involved, and show more gratefulness at home. I am that mom who helps her child to grow financially independent by not relying on me, debt, or the government to pay for their unplanned wants. I am that mom who expects her children to grow stronger and more focused through hard work so they will become your reliable future employee. I am that mom who has a child who gets so over stimulated at the checkout that he cannot self regulate without my help and firm, loving, encouragement. I am that mom who got sidetracked by my distractible child’s emotional meltdown at home while doing the finances and left my checkbook next to the ledger. I am that mom who has gotten over the embarrassment of the nearby glares, the lengthy sighs, and the questioning glances. I am that mom who has nine children, with six still at home, four of which are adopted, and a few of them have special needs you cannot see. I am that mom who takes extraordinary risk of personal sanity every time I leave the house with my children. I am that mom who used to observe moms like me in the same way you do. I am that mom who hopes you will now understand, smile, and pray for moms like me whenever you see us at your store.
I am that mom…
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8