Monday, May 6, 2013

You've Got Your Hands Full by Sunni Scott

'Wow!  You've got your hands full!'

I hear it on a daily, sometimes multi-daily basis.

Yes!  My hands are full!  Would you like to help, rather than comment?

That's what I want to say on my bad days.

On the normal days I just wish I had a crisp dollar bill for each time that phrase entered my ears.

People love to make comments.  Sometimes well meaning and sometimes not.  Sometimes the well meaning ones stir up bitterness in my heart.  Like today, when a friend told me that she felt sorry for me.  I had to chew on that one for a while and
pray against the feelings of self pity that were trying to take root.

The last thing she meant was to hurt me.  She was trying to sympathize with the fact that Evie's 2 year attitude and Zoë's hungry belly were ruining the trip to the library that we had planned for Belle's birthday.  We ended up leaving the library sooner than planned, and my friend stayed behind to enjoy a morning with her well-behaved children.

Driving away, I replayed all of the things people say over and over in my head.

I also prayed.

It didn't take long for the Lord to remind me of a precious encounter that I had in the grocery store a few weeks ago.

While loading up my girls into the ginormous car buggy that is my saving grace on grocery trips, I was approached by an elderly woman.  Inwardly, I rolled my eyes.  I knew it was coming...

"You've got your hands full."  She said.

"Yes ma'm."  I smiled, wrestling Evie into the seat belt.

"Mine are spaced out just like yours."

"Really?!?!"  I stood up.  That always gets my attention.  I love to look into the face of someone who survived and lived to tell the tale.

"All girls, too."  She told me.

"So you know what it's like!"  I wanted to hug her.

Though my kids were fussing, I sat and talked with her for a good five minutes.  We laughed, bonded over strong-willed toddlers and going out in public with them.  She was a godsend.

As we said goodbye she looked at my fussy, squiggly grocery buggy and with tears in her eyes she asked me to enjoy it.  'They are the greatest blessing of my life."

And so my friends, the next time that someone makes a comment about your children that doesn't sit well, please remember that you are not alone.  Many a mother has gone before us, and they miss the chaos of the young years.

Glancing in my mirror at the car seat laden sight behind me, I decided that the next time someone reminded me that my 'hands are full', I would respond with- 'but so is my heart'.
And I would mean it.

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