Dear fellow mom at the park this afternoon,
I really wanted to tell you that you’re doing a great job with your twin babies, but I thought it would come off a little awkward. I saw you pushing that double stroller tiredly, weighed down by the double bags under your eyes, knowing it has probably been forever since you’ve had a good night’s sleep. I wanted to say bravo to you for getting out of the house, knowing it probably took you forever and a day to get those two little ones ready.
I wanted to tell you that I saw you, as you struggled to put one baby into the swing while the other clung to your leg. I saw you when you heaved a sigh of resignation when neither baby wanted to be in the swings and watched in admiration as you lifted them out and tucked one under each arm. I wanted so much to offer you help, but for some reason I hesitated. Maybe because I didn’t want you to think that I thought you were incompetent, or maybe I didn’t know how you would feel about a stranger wanting to hold your child. Sorry all I offered you was a sympathetic smile, when what I really wanted to do was to invite you over for tea and take those two precious weights off your weary hands while you cradle a nice hot cup of tea (or better yet, of latte) instead.
I wanted to tell you that I saw you as you sat with those babies on the playground floor, so needy, barely crawling, demanding constant amusement from you. I felt kind of guilty sitting there on the step by myself, watching my own two boys playing happily by themselves, independent of me. I wanted to offer you encouraging words, that eventually those two little ones will also be running and sliding on their own, but I didn’t want to come off as patronizing or condescending.
I watched you as you reluctantly loaded those babies back into their stroller when their fussiness indicated that they’ve had enough of the park, even though it had barely been half an hour. I saw you look back longingly as you headed out the gate, at all the moms chattering and laughing, while their kids played happily, probably mentally counting how many hours you still had left in the day being alone taking care of those babies. My heart went out to you. I wanted to run after you and say, “It’ll be okay, really. It’s super hard, but it will get better,” but instead I offered up a silent prayer for you, that you would find the grace needed to get through the rest of today.
So dear mama, if we do meet at the park again, I’ll try to overcome my shyness and awkwardness and stop worrying about how I come off. I won’t hesitate to offer you help because that’s what fellow moms do for each other. Maybe I’ll even work up the courage to strike up a conversation and invite you over for tea. And while you’re cradling that cup, maybe I’ll get a chance to tell you what I wanted to tell you today – that you’re doing a wonderful job.