Wednesday, November 14, 2007

An Open Thank-You Letter

To All the Mommies Out There Who Write About the Difficulties of Mommyhood,

Today, I took a trip to Old Navy. While checking out at the cashier, I saw a pregnant mom with two young girls, probably 2 and 4. The 4-year-old was wandering, but mostly staying by her mom's side; the 2-year-old was repeatedly trying to make a break for the door, car keys in hand. I gave the mom an understanding smile, trying to at least acknowledge the cuteness of the situation.

When I got out to my car and put my bags away, I saw her at the back of her SUV, the rear door standing wide. I started my car and began to drive out of the parking lot, passing her and her car on my left. She had the 2-year-old on her hip and they were looking into the back and pointing at something. Just as I began to wonder where the other daughter was, I noticed the girl on my right side, across the street from her mother, beginning to walk in front of my car without giving so much as a glance. Quickly I put on the brakes and allowed her to cross, my heart beating a little faster in the process.

There was a time, not too long ago, when I would have rolled my eyes, glared at the mom, and wondered why in the hell she couldn't keep track of her kids better, instead of letting them run through the streets without a care. I mean, seriously, what kind of woman would do that?

But now, after getting to know you all, and reading your stories, and getting a better sense of what motherhood really is, I didn't think that at all. Instead, I felt bad for a woman suffering through the exhausting effects of pregnancy, so frazzled and stretched thin that her daughter's safety was endangered more than it should have been. I don't think she was a bad person - I think she was doing her best, and I'm sorry, for her sake, that she was having such an obviously tough day.

I hope no one ever looks at me when I'm giving as much of myself as I can to my kids, and thinks, "What a horrible mother - she can't even keep her eyes on her kids." But I know already that some people will. I'm just glad I'm not one of those people anymore.

So thank you, for teaching me compassion.

- Lara.

For the rest of you: What have the bloggers you read taught you lately?


Carol said...

What a wonderful post, Lara! And what a wonderful tribute to your fellow bloggers -- and all those great mommy bloggers out there.

Oh -- and what a great idea for a post! Can I steal your last question??


Lara said...

carol - by all means! i asked because i'm curious to know the answers. if you feel a post would answer the question better than a comment, all the better. :)

Aussie Boy said...

> "What have the bloggers you read taught you lately?"

Well I only read one (sorry Jitta, I'm moblogomous these days) so the question really is if I've learnt anything from Lazza in the last week:

Looking back on it, this week has been brought to us by the letter "C"; with compassion for the complacent carers of careless children coming into our collective consciences today, whilst carnal cone consumption captured our (well atleast my) imagination earlier in the week. Cutting cessation was warmly celebrated, and there was a kitty, a Jitta, and two regular cats; a meme countdown, and countless amounts of other "stuff" discussed.

Uncannily though I've contrived to cease the week as completely cluelessly as I began it.

Ongoing edukation my ass!

This blug socks!

Amanda said...

Oh, how I am weeping. It is so hard, balancing it all, keeping track of all the balls. My heart raced as I read this, thinking of how quickly they can slip away. Thank you for your compassion and for your involvement in our lives. One thing I can say is that I have needed to be told that I am doing too mcuh. Obviously we can't approach every mom we see and say that she is doing too much, but I do think a huge gift to all of us moms is to be told gently from time to time that we are doing a lot and that sometimes, it's ok to say it's just a little too much. As I write this I remember before I was a mom, it would have been nice to hear it then too.

So, Miz Lara, for all the writing, reading, commenting, dancing, teaching and good friending that you do, maybe take a little more time to jsut sit and pet that little foster kitten of yours.

Huge teary hugs from a wiped out mama.

Amanda said...

Oh, and Nutmeg has been closing her posts with what she is thankful for, it's been reminding me to be thankful.

Blog Antagonist said...

It's a gift to be able to see things from someone else's perspective and that was a really nice post.

What have I learned from other bloggers? I couldn't even begin to quantify. Tons. Megatons.

mks said...

Especially in this last year bloggers have taught me the value of now. Of slowing down and of "wanting what I have and not always needing to have what I want". I have been taught compassion courage and strength by bloggers but most of all I think I have been taught the value of perspective. Things can always be better but they can also always be worse. I now count my blessings more often, keep a gratuity journal, and say my prayers a little more often. Thanks bloggers!

flutter said...

This was incredibly kind, love.

Anonymous said...

Oh god, thank you.

I told you, I'm overly emotional right now, being one of those large pregnant women, trying to keep track of a two year-old and a five year-old. To think that someone else - someone who's not even a mother herself - understands that I'm doing my darnedest...well, that's enough to induce tears.

Lindz said...

Hey! You should probably go check out my blog because I have added to your award shelf! I forgot to mention how much I love that you pose questions at the end of your blogs.

aMom2E said...

You rock and I miss you so much! I am trying to get back in the swing of the bloggy world, but I make no promises as life is life... But I do miss you so much! Can you believe only 8 weeks until baby Eleanor gets here??!??

Lara said...

amanda and mothergoosemouse - silly preggos, always crying. :-P i'm glad you enjoyed the post in your own weepy way.

ffbgirl - seriously?! 8 weeks?! wow, that is soon! and her name is eleanor, what a beautiful name. i'll be proud to be a bloggy godmother to her. :)

aMom2E said...

And more reasons why I miss you and adore you! I will try to give you a real update very soon!! Her name is Eleanor Logan (Logan is my mother's middle name). And we preggos can just about cry at anything, I have learned...