We laughed. We cried. We bonded.
Okay, okay, I exaggerate.
We really just gorged ourselves with ridiculously good burgers that only one person refused to eat. And that, my friends, is what we like to call an “eating out” win. So it is no surprise that when the hubs and our eldest headed out to catch an afternoon movie, I waved the most blissful wave.
Somewhere between the waving and the making sure my four-year-old didn’t fall out of the booth, I had forgotten something vitally important.
I.HAVE. A. CANE.
It’s just a little somethin’-somethin’ I have to use when out and about so I don’t fall flat on my face. Having had a little stroke and a pregnancy that set-back my rehab, it was and is my best friend. But it’s also ridiculously awkward.
So much so that I have a set routine when I’m out by myself (which apparently only includes places with carts.) It goes a little like this…
I get out of the van with the cane, go to the cart corral, put the cane in the cart and then hold onto the cart until I get to the van whereupon I put baby carrier in said cart, all the while hoping the other children do not run amuck.
(I know, I know. Bless. My. Cane.)
But if I’m going anywhere else, I have the husband who carries the baby except for this one time where it was blissful until…ten…nine…eight…
I swear my palms were sweating and I may have even been hyperventilating but was too distracted to care. Sophie was still falling out of the booth. Drew was emptying the salt shaker. And Maddie’s face was the-you-know-exactly-what-she’s-doing kind of red. And the door seemed like it was a lifetime away.
So I took a deep breath and began cleaning up the trash when a sweet employee said, “Oh, here, let me.” Then I lifted the carrier out of the high chair and struggled to get it back to its proper place when a kind lady said, “Oh, here, let me put that away for you.” And then there was the walk to the door…
Oh. My. Stars.
Tripping. Bumping. Falling.
Suffice it to say all eyes in the house were on the crazy lady with the cane until the manager opened the door and said, “Oh, here, let me get that.”
Mercifully, the van was right in front of the entrance. And shortly after the last buckle was buckled, I sank into my seat with a deep and measured breath of relief. It was then that something between a scream and a sob welled up in my throat because let’s be honest, being humbled and weak isn’t exactly the Hallmark moment that we’re sometimes sold.
It’s wickedly hard.
And yet I know there is not a mama in the world that hasn’t ended up in that same seat, with the same measured breath and the same in-between sob and scream. Sure, we don’t all have canes or infant carriers or handicapped parking stickers but we all have those moments where we feel utterly and completely inadequate. The times when we’re certain someone else would be way better navigating the toddler years, the school years, the tween years, the teen years, the college years…
But God started something the day that our babies were place in our arms. He started a work in their lives and ours. And He’s promised to finish it.
Even through the awkward. Even through the failures. Even through the in-between.
He’s picking us up, loving us through the hard and standing ready for the moments when He must bend close and say, “Here love, let me.”