How often do we actually verbally encourage one another in our meek efforts at motherhood when it truly matters? In those moments where we are at our breaking point someones kind words can truly change our perspective on the day and maybe even make it a little better.
A few days ago I called my Nunna (Grandmother in Sicilian) over to watch my two boys real fast while I went to Trader Joe's to stock up for the weekend. I fed both boys and quickly left the house because I was having one of those days and I was not about to attempt to shop with Calvin and Max (like I always say I rarely ever do errands with them). I am one of the few moms I know who has so many family members living close by and I am so thankful to God for the support team he has surrounded me with.
As I drove to Trader Joe's I had the windows down, music up (Lady A), I could feel my blood pressure lowering as I enjoyed every second of being alone, even if it was for errands. When I walked into Trader Joe's though, I was immediately humbled and convicted as I saw a sweet mom try to rally up a few groceries with her severely autistic beautiful boy. This mom was very kind and slow with her words as her around 8 year old boy kept flinging himself across the floor.
Most people around me saw this mom and son struggle to get down one aisle and we all tried our best to look the other way to avoid embarrassing her. She would grab a piece of fruit and he would knock down a pile of items on the floor. After 10 minutes of struggling she was only been able to collect a few random things and I could see her heart sinking and the desperation in her eyes--but yet I did nothing.
Seconds later a TJ's employee went up to her and asked her if she could help her finish shopping and took her cart for her. The employee went down each aisle as the mom and son had their constant interaction of grabbing an item, a meltdown, reconciliation, repeat. As I was checking out I saw the moms look of relief and thankfulness as the TJ's employee finished being her aid by packing all her groceries in the car.
I practically was in tears during my drive home. Why did I ignore this mom who simply wanted to help her family and keep her sweet boy safe and happy. Every part of me wanted to walk up to her and tell her "you are doing a good job", "your boy is beautiful", "motherhood is a sacrifice but also a joy", "can I help you?", or even give her a hug. I don't know if the words I wanted to relay to her would have changed her day but I know that if another mom came up to me and said something along those lines they would have encouraged me. As mothers we take on a huge load of responsibilities and it always seems to happen all at once.
This experience reminded me of how important actual encouragement is. We each have our own daily struggles, but being genuine and real with each other can make all the difference. As moms we are each on a journey. Although our journeys may not be the same, eventually each of us will come to a point where we need encouragement and a boost to make it to the next day.
If I ever see that mom again I hope I am not so wrapped up in my own agenda where I don't stop to lend a hand or to give her some sweet encouragement. My good friend just moved away and she has a son with special needs as well. It is moms like her and this mother in Trader Joe's that show me how patience and a mother's love is so special. Tomorrow is a new day and if you are like me and you need to hear this "you are a good mother, because you're the perfect mother for your own child(ren)".