You know the day.
The one where you feel like you have it all together. Everything is going perfectly, as planned. The kids are happy and behaving and you are knocking out your to-do list like it is nothing, even though it's three pages long. You feel like super mom. And then it all starts to crumble.
This morning was perfect. I got out of bed, showered, and had coffee before anyone else woke up. We all ate breakfast, and then I did some things around the house that needed doing. Laundry, vacuuming, getting the boys dressed, more laundry, dishes. It was grocery day and we all needed lunch, so we headed out to eat before Nick had to be at work. We went to Bojangles, per Max's request, ("Jingle Bells," as he calls it) and the boys were both angels. Seriously. They both ate really well, used pretty good manners, and didn't start loosing it before I finished my meal. Nick headed to work, and the boys and I headed to the dreaded Walmart. I let Max walk, and Drew was in the sling, and they were so insanely well behaved. We got what we needed for the most part and when we were headed to the check out line I could tell that we were on the downward spiral. You can sense these things as a mom, I promise. He danced next to me while I paid, and we got some crazy looks, the ones that say "you have your hands full," but I confidently thought to myself, "I've got this...we just have to get to the car."
It was raining, pretty hard. Drew was now asleep in the sling, and Max was hating holding my hand in the parking lot. Hating. I basically had to drag him to the car while pushing a heavy buggy and making sure that Drew's sleepy little head wasn't bobbing around too much. We get to the car, Max still trying to escape, and my keys, which are attached to my wallet and my bag, get stuck in the seat of the buggy. Out of desperation and concern for Max's safety in the parking lot, I hit the button to unlock the car, and race around to the other side to get them in their seats as quickly as possible, all while leaving my purse, wallet, keys, and groceries in the buggy next to the trunk. You know, just praying that no one would come along and snatch them up. I was sweating, not because I was hot, but because I was anxious and so. embarrassed.
Then the best thing happened. This sweet lady walks up, umbrella in hand, and pushes my buggy around to the side of the car. She takes my bag out and puts it in the car, then holds her umbrella over myself and the boys while I got them in the car, while she stood, unsheltered from the rain and getting wet. I thanked her the whole time, telling her we were fine, and that I appreciated it, but that she did not need to do that. She absolutely insisted upon it. Afterwards, she asked, so kindly, "Are you okay?" And then she told me she hoped I had a wonderful afternoon.
I sat in my car and cried for five minutes or more afterwards. I am an emotional person.
I cried, not because I was embarrassed or upset. But because I was absolutely blown away by her kindness. She was so giving of herself. She went out of her way to do something nice for me and my boys. She kept us dry while she herself got wet. I cried because it took that moment to knock me back into reality and see the truth.
It all starts to crumble, even if it's just a little bit, and you realize you don't have it all together. You can't do it alone.