Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Moments. Strangers. And Grandpas.

Every now and then, you have a moment. A moment when you meet someone who changes your day around. Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad.

Today I had one of those moments. For the good. But let's back up.

This morning I discovered reason #752 that I don't enjoy taking showers anymore. It was peaceful enough. No major trauma during the showering process. Landon was absent from the bathroom, but I knew Dora was on in the bedroom, and quite frankly, I was relieved to not have him going through all the cabinets causing more work for me. As I get out, and am leisurely drying myself off, thinking, "wow, that was nice!", I heard it. I couldn't describe what it was, but I knew it wasn't good. What was it? 17 month old violently shaking an OPEN can of Diet Coke. Diet Coke everywhere. On him. On the carpet. On the walls. On the CEILING. On the dresser. Everywhere. Diet Coke.

Now I'm naked, trying desperately to keep a towel wrapped around me, that the same 17 month old has now made a game out of trying to get off of me, and trying to clean it up. Didn't even know where to start. I know there was some yelling. Some "What are you THINKING, Landon!?" and some "NOW COME ON!!!!!!". But there was also a massive internal dialogue, saying, "Um...hello. You're the idiot. You're the one who left it sitting there. Open. Half full. He's a baby. He doesn't know any better. He thought it was a new toy his awesome mom gave him. Uh hey, have you seen her, by the way? Because you're being kind of evil right now, and he probably misses her".

I somehow got it all cleaned up, continued on with getting ready, which, as usual, took way longer than it needed to because I was constantly stopping to put things back in cabinets, and I decided it was time. It was time to finally baby proof OUR bathroom too. So that during my showers, I can lock him in there, with some safe, REAL actual toys, and he can't get into anything. I've been putting it off, because...why? Because I enjoy the mass chaos that is every morning? No. I have no idea why I have been. But I have. But I'm not any more. So we head out the door.

I stop to get gas, and I pull up to a pump, get out, get my little gas tank cover thing a ma jiggy off, and go to put my card in, and realize the credit card swiper is broken. Ok. Fine. Put everything back in place, and back up to the other pump. Get out and start again. Once I had it started, I opened the back door so I could talk to Landon, try to keep his screams for "OUT!!!!" to a minimum. Suddenly, I hear a kind voice say, "It's the greatest time, isn't it?" Huh? I turn around and see a gentleman, probably about 65, standing at the pump on the opposite side of mine. I politely say, "Excuse me?" and he says "The baby. It's the greatest thing." Oh, right. Well yes, it is. But if you had been at my house this morning, you probably wouldn't be saying this. I smile politely and say that it really truly is, and turn to check my ever going total on the screen. "It's also the hardest damn thing ever, right?" I can't explain it, but I instantly relaxed. I was no longer afraid of the strange man talking to me at the gas station. I was no longer afraid the stranger thought I wasn't up to par as a mom. He got it. I looked at him, and I think I started to tear up. "Yes" was all I could say. He kind of laughed and then said probably the most kind words anyone has ever said to me, at least that a stranger has ever said. He asked if I was working, and I told him no, I am a stay at home mom. "You're amazing. Cut yourself some slack. Every day isn't going to be perfect, he's going to have some bad days, you are too. But you've devoted your life to raising a human. And from what I can see, a pretty damn cute one. I don't know how your day today is going, but you need to hear that. You're doing a great job." Honestly, I didn't know what to say. I just nervously laughed and said thank you, but he wasn't done yet. "My wife stayed home with our boys, and she's the strongest person I know. I had it easy, ya know. Leaving to go to work everyday. Coming home and just getting to play, then putting them to bed and I was off duty. I got all the fun parts. She had the hardest job in the world. And she did great. But she never gave herself enough credit. You don't either. Trust me when I tell you, you are doing great". This man has to be an angel or something. There is no way this is happening. Again, I thanked him, told him it really meant a lot to hear. He smiled, and so graciously said, "You don't have to thank me. Just telling a phenomenal mom that she is doing great. That's what we're all here for, to build each other up when we need it". We talked a little more, about his grandson, his wife, their boys, him telling me that "it'll all be over before you know it. And you'll miss it all. Don't blink". I think he is maybe the wisest, kindest angel God has walking this earth right now. My tank was full, so I said thank you again, told him to enjoy his grandson, and started to get in the car. "Dear, thank you for thanking me. You could have just walked away. You helped build me up today, too. God bless. And go Tigers!!!". I got in the car and truly wanted to cry. I wanted to know more about this man. I wanted to spend more time talking to him. I want to know how we happened to be at the same pump, at the same time, and how he knew exactly what I needed to hear this morning.

Then it hit me. Just yesterday, I was talking to my cousin Kristen, who was telling me about frustrations with her 3 year old, and how she found a quarter at therapy with her youngest. (If you don't know about the quarters, just hang tight, a post will be coming about it. But just a summary, it's our Grandpa's way of telling us he's there). Grandpa had been there. To remind her that it was all going to be ok. To remind her that he's always with her. Just breathe, and enjoy it. I had texted her not more than 30 minutes before I met this man complaining about the Diet Coke on my ceiling. And then I meet him. I'm pretty sure Grandpa concocted that, too. He sent me an angel today, to say all the right things. So thank you, Gaga. You still know exactly what I need. {Thank you too, for getting Grandma back home and settled in this morning. Be with her. Keep her comfortable and happy. She needs you, too}

So that was it. That was my moment today. A moment that I didn't even know I needed, but I really did. As we went on our way to Buy Buy Baby, we laughed and sang, and enjoyed the windows down on this 75 degree October day. I bought him a new toy, because he deserves it. I let him pull his shoes and socks off on the way home without once telling him to keep them on. I let him drink his bottle in the fort we built this morning, instead of on the couch. And I just put a happy, gorgeous toddler in his bed for nap. The Diet Coke stains will go away, eventually, with enough scrubbing. But so will my baby. I need to enjoy him. Soak it all up. And know that even in my worst moments, I'm still doing ok.

Thanks, stranger. For teaching me a much needed lesson today. I hope you are out enjoying the heck out of your beautiful grandson. He's a lucky, lucky boy.

No comments:

Post a Comment