While ringing me up at the register in JoAnne’s last week, the cashier told me that I was really put together. It felt nice. And I know why she said it. My hair was cute, I had lip gloss on, mascara even! I was holding my daughter on one hip, my purchases in the same hand I had wrapped around her back and I signed the receipt with my free hand. My sweet Sunshine was happy and smiling and waving at everyone. I’m sure I looked like a mom who’s got her $#@& together. So I smiled and I said thank you and I really meant it. What I did not do was tell her about the week before.
The week before, I showed up at swim class with no lip gloss and my hair in the same, wobbly, top-of-my-head bun I slept in. We had five minutes to get ready before we were supposed to be in the pool. I opened our swim bag and dug and dug . . . and dug. I dug until I hit the bottom and dug back up to the top, refusing to except the evidence before my eyes that I had somehow not brought my daughter’s swimsuit or swim diaper.
I threw everything out onto the bench at the Y, I had to check just one more time. No dice. I called my husband to see if he’d maybe put it in her diaper bag and he reminded me that my darling girl had gotten into her swim bag just before we left. She’d thrown everything out and he’d thrown everything back in, but neither of us checked to make sure she hadn’t made off with something important. There was nothing for it, we weren’t going to be able to go to class. It was awful because she loves the water and she loves her friend Fred, who we’ve been in swim class with since she was seven months old.
About that time, I heard Fred outside the door so I popped out to let his mama know we weren’t going to make it to class and why. Fred’s mom, who is never one to give up, immediately offered Fred’s extra suit if we didn’t mind using trunks as well as one of their swim diapers. SAVED! We grabbed the suit, got changed, and had an awesome class and I really wish I could end the story there . . .
But alas, after class, with my sweet Sunshine all wrapped up in her towel (hey, at least we had towels, right?), I realized that her after class diaper was also missing. Thankfully, Fred and his mama were still there. They gave us a diaper and we were back in business, all dressed, and ready for snack . . . except that I’d brought her frozen blueberries, which make a great snack when they’re frozen. These, once frozen, but frozen no longer berries were a dark purple, puddle just waiting to ruin absolutely everything they splattered on.
My Sunshine began to cry, because of course, babies are always hungry after swim class and that’s when sweet Fred shared his Cheerios and we were finally able to conclude what was one of the most ridiculous mornings of my life as a mother. Fortunately for me and for my girl, Fred and his mama are not judgemental. We all laughed it off together and our morning was not ruined for any of the reasons that it might have been.
Moral of the story? When you see a mom who’s got it together, say something nice to her. When you see a mom whose day is falling apart before your eyes, say something nice to her, too, and if you have the power to help, help without judgement. A kind word can work wonders . . . as can a loaner swimsuit, swim diaper, regular diaper, and Cheerios! My sweet Sunshine and I really do have the best friends. : )