Dear Frazzled Mother of the Wiggly Worm

Dear Frazzled Mother of the “Wiggly Worm”,

 

I entered the shoe store this morning with my four children bounding ahead of me and a prayer on my lips that we could get our new school shoes without too much of a production. I heard other children in the store, but was focused on my task at hand as I wrangled my four into an aisle and pointed out the section for their perusal.

 

My children oohed and ahhed over their choices while I peered around the corner to check the next aisle’s sizes and saw you on the floor wrestling with your toddler. Your little girls were admiring the shoes around them and I told you there was no need to move for me.

 

Your eyes spoke of your thinning patience. I saw it. I recognized it. I’ve been there.

 

When your son, also probably overwhelmed with the whole shoe shopping experience, hit you, I saw the fleeting panic in your eyes and I imagine you instantly thought I would judge you.

 

I didn’t. I’ve been there.

 

You continued to wrestle your alligator into a new pair of shoes and I managed to get mine to make decisions as we infiltrated your aisle. Your daughters, proudly holding two new pairs of Frozen shoes were so excited to show off their picks and warned me to watch out for their brother, ”the wiggly worm”. I loved partaking in their joy and I hope that looking back, you can remember that moment over your toddler’s tantrum.

 

I’ve missed a lot of joyful moments while simply trying to survive the tantrum.

 

I’ve been there.

 

As you rushed out the door after the sales lady said to your son, “you were so happy when you came in”, I felt your embarrassment.

 

I’ve been there.

 

I imagine you loaded your trio into their car seats, slumped into the driver’s seat with the air blowing fiercely at your face and just breathed, maybe holding back tears. I imagine you questioned whether it’d ever get easier and if you could ever take your trio into a store, restaurant or just simply out of the house without causing a scene. I imagine you silently counted the hours until nap time.

 

I’ve been there.

 

Frazzled mother of the wiggly worm, you’re a rock star! You entered the store with three children for new school shoes and you left the store with all three children and their new shoes. That’s success! Sometimes the way to our goal is not always paved in giggles and grins. Sometimes it’s crying and wiggly worms, but as mothers, we persevere. We persevere to get the new shoes, to make it to the doctor’s appointment and sometimes to simply make it through the day.

 

As I was exiting the shoe store, a little frazzled myself, I said a prayer for you. I pray that you feel lifted up, not beat down, by the people around you. I pray that someone reminds you that you’re doing a great job and I pray that the next shoe shopping day will be a bit easier.

 

Tomorrow, your children will wake up excited to wear their new shoes. Your girls will stomp around setting off the lights on their “twin shoes” and your son will happily put on his new pair, too. There will be smiles and pride and the shoe store tantrums will be long forgotten.

 

Love,

 

A Mother Who Has Been There

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