Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mothers of Walmart

I came home from Walmart and told Ainsley to grab a stack of books. I planned to spend the next chunk of the afternoon curled up on the couch with my girl reading Cinderella and Dora, Sleeping Beauty and Pooh.

I'm not a follower of People of Walmart. Do I really need to feed disdain for another soul? No, I don't. Sadly, I manage to manufacture quite enough disdain on my own, thank you very much. No outsourcing necessary.

Today as I toured the aisles and filled in the gaps on our back-to-school lists, I mentally compiled a montage of Mothers of Walmart. I'm glad it will never appear on the net because it was sad.

Beyond sad.

Mean-spirited, really.

Bordering on cruel.

I could issue the usual disclaimers. I've been the grumpy mother, the frazzled mother, the biting mother. I've had children meltdown over a matchbox car in Kroger, disappear in Publix, vomit all over a cart in Walmart. Even when nothing newsworthy occurs, shopping with small children or many children or even a single, solitary, ornery child can be trying, trying, trying.

I know this.

Motherhood is hard.

Not Oh, I broke a fingernail hard. Not I've got way too much to do hard. No, it's I can't do this another five minutes let alone all night let alone for a lifetime kind of hard. Ragged edge, crying out to God, seeing our own limits with absolute clarity kind of hard.

My dear and brave friend Amy recently put into words what so many of us have experienced in the bleary, lonely hours of the night. I've been there and done that, and if having been there and done that has accomplished any good work in my soul, it's that I am far less prone to judge another mother who's on the edge.

But today.



Why speak to anyone like that much less a toddler?  A baby, really. Not whining, not grabbing, not shrieking, just being.

Just being.

And so I pray for these mothers, one in particular. And for those children. And for me. And for my children.

And I started to type "I realize reading books to my daughter won't fix all that ails the world around us" but then I stopped and I thought, "You know what? I actually think it will."

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