You may guess that with all this new life perspective I've gained from breast cancer that I'm the world's most patient, kind-hearted mother. I am not. If you've ever felt mom-guilt for working too hard, not spending enough time with your kids, not being patient enough, etc. etc. etc. then just imagine the mom guilt that I feel. I've learned that time is NOT on my side and yet I still fail to live up to my potential as a mother. Lately my mom-guilt is off the charts.
It doesn't help that I'm alone with my kids A LOT while their father has been in the throes of law school and state bar exam prep. Between raising up my girls, running a small business and trying to beat cancer I am often feeling overwhelmed and overloaded. The grandparents (all 5 of them) have been incredibly amazing to ease my burden and I am forever grateful for that. I am also deeply indebted to the countless strangers who somehow manage to step up to the plate at just the perfect moment with a good dosage of human kindness.
A few weeks ago, after picking up my girls from a sleepover at their grandparents, we popped into Taco Cabana for a late lunch. While we were there a restaurant employee who was on her break must have spotted my bald head, put two & two together and started cheerfully chatting up my children. My girls, especially Darby, can be very shy. But this sweet young lady knew just how to speak to them so that they felt engaged, special and comfortable. After some small talk this special stranger asked my girls if they liked hair-bows. I mean we ARE from the deep south, are you kidding me? Of course we adore bows! Our new friend smiled sweetly and told us she'd be right back. She disappeared into the kitchen where she retrieved two handmade bows from her work locker. She told us she makes these as a hobby and wanted to gift them to us.
My girls are generally terrible gift receivers in that they don't always wear their hearts and thankfulness on their sleeves. So I'm not sure that it was obvious at the moment how much this gift meant to them, though my misty eyes may have indicated my own personal gratitude. After we left Darby couldn't stop talking about her new prized bow. I took time to explain to the children just how special it was that this stranger had shown kindness to us. So while I work on becoming a better mother and reconciling my guilt, I will also try to show more kindness to my family and to the world around us.