One four-year-old, two scoops of dark chocolate ice cream. In a cone. It got pretty messy! We were finishing up a day at Lake Oconee and about to head home to Augusta, so I was rather unruffled by the mess.
Just before our ice cream on the porch, Julia Reynolds had face-planted on the sidewalk “racing” us to the ice cream shop. It broke my heart to see her fall and get hurt, skinning her knees, elbows, and a hip.
Some cold water, an ice pack, Band-Aids and hugs and kisses and Julia Reynolds was good to go. Boo-boos are an event at age four, right?!
Back to the mess — a couple sitting next to us heard the commotion of us trying to help Julia Reynolds salvage her double scoop cone. Most of it was dripping down her dress and onto her little legs rather than going in her mouth.
The sweet lady offered me a cup to flip our daughter’s cone into. As she handed it to me, she said kindly, “I get it, I’m a mom.”
Seven simple words that can mean so much. It was no emergency. It was just a cup for a melting ice cream cone. But those words are helpful in many situations. She was saying, “I’m with you. I’ve been there.”
It doesn’t have to be verbal, sometimes it’s just a knowing look instead of a glare from another mom when you’re negotiating with a tiny tyrant in the midst of a grocery store meltdown. You’ve got this, Mama. I’m not judging you. Been there, done that.
We’re all in this together. We should cheer each other on and lift each other up when we’re doubting ourselves as mothers.
I like to believe there’s a lot more of this going on than what the Internet would have you believe. Much is made of the so-called Mommy wars — fighting online over bedtime routines, breastfeeding, discipline, SAHM vs. working moms, and on and on — but I think most of us realize we’re all doing our best. It’s hard not to compare and question, but God chose our children especially for us and picked us as the perfect mom for them. Arguing over who’s doing it “right” is a waste of time.
We ran into the helpful lady from the porch a few minutes later in the restroom. I had been wiping up the chocolate ice cream trail we’d dripped behind us and was wiping the chocolate goatee off Julia Reynolds’s face. She was wistful for a moment as she told me her daughter was eighteen now and away at college. Another reminder to savor it all — the beautiful AND the messy and mundane — because it truly goes by in a blink.
Enjoy the journey, my fellow mamas. You were made for this job. And you’re doing great at it! Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, your mom and you!!
After twelve years in local news, most recently as evening anchor of NBC 26, Paige Tucker is now a work-at-home mom and freelance journalist. She produces two series for NBC 26 TV, First Responders and 26 Women Today, and you can see those stories on Tuesday nights. Paige and her husband have one daughter, Julia Reynolds, who is four years old.
This article appears in the May 2019 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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