A couple of weeks ago I had the rare pleasure of going to the grocery store without Charlie. I was so relaxed after strolling up and down the aisles poring over different prices and labels that I didn’t even mind when I had to wait in line at checkout. I considered it a good time to catch up on celebrity gossip.
Checking out in front of me were two women about my age with a little boy who was probably about 4 years old. He was acting like any boy that age would, running around a little and trying to talk his mom into buying him a balloon. I found myself staring at him, thinking about Charlie and how he would act at that age. I guess I was staring a bit too hard, because soon his mother was staring at me!
Now, this woman was my complete opposite. We looked differently, acted differently, had different groceries in our carts. She was not looking at me with a smile on her face, and I was honestly a little scared! I said, “I have a son who is almost one, and I can’t believe that he’ll be as big as your little boy one day.”
A smile of comraderie broke on her face as she began to tell me stories of his misadventures. Her sister who was waiting on a nearby bench even came over to tell me a story about her children!We spoke for a few minutes until the cashier began to get irritated.
It hit me at this time that, deep down, any woman who is a mother is the same as any other woman who is a mother. It doesn’t matter if we’re wearing pajamas from Nordstrom or Wal-Mart when we’re sitting up all night rocking a screaming baby. It doesn’t matter it we’re strapping a wiggling child into a carseat in a Lexus or a Ford. We’re all the same. Our pajamas will be spit up on and goldfish will litter the seats of our cars.
We pass knowing glances as we push our carts past each other in the grocery aisles, trying to stuff as many items as possible into the bottom of the cart and out of reach of a curious toddler. We give sympathetic smiles when a crying baby can’t be consoled in a restaurant or airport. Others may judge, shake their heads, think we’ve lost our marbles! But we know. At least we’re losing them together!
I find it truly consoling that there are so many others like me out there, sharing in my joys and struggles. Motherhood is the great equalizer, and I plan to embrace that fact.