I took my horse and pony show to Walmart today. It was the end of Christmas break. Everyone was exhausted from traveling, experiencing a severe sugar crash, and no one really wanted to spend the morning grocery shopping. By the time we were done, my 1 year old was crying and my boys were being boys. They were teasing each other, laughing loudly, and having some trouble standing still. I was trying to make sure the groceries made it successfully from the cart to the cashier back to the cart. My attention was divided which never helps the situation. Then, as always, the well-meaning stranger came along. It never fails. Every time my crazy crew leaves the house, we hear it.
“Wow, you really have your hands full.”
Most people think that I’m stressed or frustrated or lacking support or a poor decision-maker. They are trying to sound supportive while subtly telling me that they are glad they don’t their “hands full”. All they see is the chaos that ensues in the checkout line at Walmart.
But here is what they don’t see:
- You didn’t see my middle son coming in to snuggle this morning because he just missed me.
- You didn’t see my youngest laugh and smile when I came to her room this morning.
- You didn’t see my oldest son asking if he could make me breakfast.
- You didn’t see my oldest picking up a fork for his sister after she threw it on the floor for the ninth time.
- You didn’t see all three of my kiddos playing nicely together before we left.
- You didn’t see the 20 hours we spent in the car over the past week visiting family for Christmas.
- You didn’t see the stomach flu that ravaged our house on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day draining all of our energy before the 20 hours of travel.
- You didn’t see my oldest volunteering to make and manage the grocery list.
- You didn’t see my middle son helping his little sister buckle into the cart.
- You didn’t see how amazing my older kiddos are with babies after learning how to play and interact with their baby sister.
- You didn’t see that my kiddos said Okay Mommy when they were told they couldn’t have a new toy today.
- You didn’t see my middle son playing peek-a-boo with his sister to keep her entertained while we shopped.
- You didn’t see my oldest son walking past an entire aisle of treats without even asking for anything because he has accepted his food allergies.
- You didn’t see that my daughter was crying because she wanted a strawberry, not candy.
- You didn’t see that she stopped crying as soon as we got home because she ate a strawberry.
- You didn’t see my older kiddos helping me take the groceries inside.
- You didn’t see my older kiddos putting groceries away without being asked.
- And this was all just this morning…
So yes, I have my “hands full”. If by that you mean that I have a lot of responsibilities taking care of such amazing, wonderful tiny humans. Please do not feel sorry for me because one of my children was throwing a tantrum or even if all three of them decide to go a little crazy. Because I love them and I choose to spend my days surrounded by their beautiful chaos. And, honestly, after an hour in Walmart, I kind of want to throw a tantrum too.