i do this every week, but with little ones there are always variables. one by one we head out to the garage and load up in that mini van i said i'd never own. i buckle the little two and look on, with bittersweetness, as my big girl no longer needs my help with her seatbelt. the drive is about 10 miles and all the way we listen to books on cd while they interject questions, getting excited as we make our way past the bulldozers working on the roads.
i unload each little darling. the two bigger kids walk and baby girl rides in the stroller. the flags always catch their eyes and they say aloud, that's the american flag, that's the state flag. twice in the last while the one has flown at half mast raising many questions from their curious hearts.
they know the routine by heart now. we dump our books in the return shoot first, then the elevator. he pushes the outside button and she pushes the inside button. in reverse on our way out. i remind them on the short ride down to use quiet voices, no running and stay where mommy can see them.
this day the little man caught a whim and took off running through the back bookshelves. i could just see wisps of blonde locks as he went between them. eisley tried to be helpful and catch him which only turned into giggles and an outright game of chase. when i caught up with him i reminded him of our three rules and told him our time was up today. he was not happy.
we made our way to the checkout desk which is on the main floor where people are actually trying to study or read. the little guy was closing in on a melt down. he's three, it happens. with a twinge of panic i began handing our books to the librarian, all the while whispering assuring words to him in hopes of keeping him grounded. she quickly noticed that he was going downhill fast and grabbed a book he wanted, checked it out and looked at me and said, i've been there.
To the mothers that have walked this road before me,
thank you for engaging my look of despair with a look of compassion.
thank you for acknowledging my daughter when she tells you she has lost a tooth.
thank you for listening to her when she tells you she can count to one hundred and then proceeds to show you.
thank you for waving back when she says hi even though you are clearly very busy.
thank you for helping me get the groceries out of my cart when you notice two little ones on foot and one strapped to my weary body.
thank you for not saying, you have your hands full, when i need to hear, you're doing okay.
thank you for taking my buggy to the return stall.
thank you for understanding i will most likely be late, to everything.
thank you for reminding me to cherish every moment, even the hard ones.
thank you for letting me tell you what you already know when you are caring for my children, because a mama just needs to hear herself say it.
thank you for not making assumptions about my parenting skills, or lack thereof.
thank you for taking time to stop us when we are out to tell us our children are well-behaved, because they aren't always.
thank you for remembering you have walked this path before and all the things you wished someone had said to you.
i am truly blessed by you.
*just writing with heather