Dear Mama Leisha,
I just wanted to let you know what a good mom you are, even though the colossal fit Ms. Lilly had this week in the produce section at Wal-Mart was bad enough to give you a stiff neck and upper-lip sweat. Just a friendly little reminder: while handling public displays of insanity from your four-year-old and your one-and-a-half-year old, you should watch the tension in your shoulders. Really. The tighter they get, the more you resemble the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
And speaking of Notre Dame...
THIS is how you feel about grocery shopping in a very busy Wal-Mart with two very crabby kids--one who is lying on the floor, crying for a Ring Pop; the other who is launching plastic toy trucks at the woman in the Rascal Scooter behind him in the check-out line:
No worries! You are still a good mom, despite the slimy, regurgitated-banana slobber crusted on your nice throw pillows. Thanks to Cam's ability to incorporate apple juice into an "art project" you like to call, "Painting Floor With Sippy Cup," your feet stick to your kitchen floor when you walk across it barefoot. Who cares?! You're behind on your laundry and had to put the Cam Man to bed wearing his sister's Tinkerbell pajamas. No big deal! A couple of days ago Lilly Mae's outfit consisted of tights, a large sweatshirt, and lady bug antennae from last year's Halloween costume. So what!? You let your children eat all the marshmallows out of the box of Lucky Charms, leaving the "crunchy bits" (as Lil likes to call them) for you to eat. You worry about the nutritional value of a purple mallow shaped like a horseshoe. But...
You are still a good mom.
Goodness, I know some days are hard. You walk into the bathroom and find your baby boy cleaning the bathtub with your toothbrush. Your daughter seems to forget the years you have spent teaching her to draw on blank paper or in coloring books...ONLY paper...ONLY coloring books. This is evident when she emerges from her bedroom with a face as colorful as a rainbow. (THANK YOU, Crayola Awesome, for making those markers washable.)
You worry about how much SpongeBob your daughter watches when she walks around the house "cursing" the Bikini Bottom way: "Barnacles!" and "Tarter sauce!" You worry about the number of wood chips your son has consumed on the playground, and try to ease your anxiety by calling it "fiber." And if you lose one more itty-bitty, little-boy athletic sock to the "Hungry Dryer--Eater of Little Boy Athletic Socks," you might scream. But...
You are still a good mom.
In the midst of all the madness (you longing to ring the bell and shout, "Sanctuary, sanctuary!"), you doubt yourself. You pray for the "child raising manual" to magically appear in your mailbox even though, deep down, you know there isn't one. You love your children immensely, but you wonder if you're doing a good enough job as their mother. You worry. You long to be a really great mom.
Don't "upper-lip" sweat the small stuff. One day, your feet won't stick to the kitchen floor. One day, your grocery shopping trips will be highly uneventful. One day, you will pour yourself a bowl of Lucky Charms and there will be an abundance of marshmallows for you to eat. I bet it will make you a little sad.
Always remember your mantra (from Ms. Picoult):
If you are worried about being a good mom, it means you already are one.
Happy "You Are A Good Mom" Day!