I just passed you going into the pediatrician’s office. I had a kid holding each hand. So did you. They looked about the same age. We both realized this and there was a big smile on each of our faces. I think in that brief moment we shared several stories through that smile. We’re in the same season, mama…it’s hard isn’t it? Keep that smile.
I saw you, new mom, frantically rocking your very new baby in his carseat at the restaurant. Trying to appear confident, but looking around nervously. I knew the look well and imagined you were thinking, “Please don’t wake up! What will I do if you start crying?” We locked eyes. I smiled at you. You noticed I had kids and had survived this far, you almost looked relieved. I’ve been there mama…it’s hard isn’t it? You’ll do great, keep that smile.
I heard you first in the grocery. Whispering loud, almost pleading with your child to stop screaming. I came around to your aisle. I noticed the dark circles. You quickly straightened up and pretended to smile. I stopped and said, “Just breathe. It will be ok.” You relaxed a bit. Your smile wasn’t as forced now. We’ve all been there, mama… it’s hard isn’t it? You’ve got this, keep that smile.
We were at the soccer field. You had a giant bag full of clothes and snacks and water and sunscreen. You had a kid on the field, another dressed to play later, one ready for ballet class and a baby in your arms. I know you’re tired, but you cheered louder than anyone. You never noticed me. You had enough going on. I thought you were awesome, you made me smile. You’re an inspiration, mama… it’s hard isn’t it? Keep that smile.
I watched as you sent your baby off to college. I admired your strength and grace. I thought about you often. Knowing how hard it will be for me too one day. Thank you for being an example. I’ll be there soon, mama… it’s hard isn’t it? Through the tears, keep that smile.