Thursday, 27 October 2011
Much More than Coffee.....
Sometimes, it can be easy as a mother, and maybe especially as a stay at home parent, to get into a bit of a funk. To have a day when nothing and everything is wrong. A day where the lists seem endless, the responsibilities numerous, and the needs of six others like a dead weight on my shoulders. If yesterday were a meal, the starter was Exhaustion, followed up by a main course of Stressed Out, sides of Irritation and Self Doubt ,all rounded off with a monster dessert of Guilt. It was one of those days, when an extra long hug, a bar of chocolate and an early night can work wonders. And it did...everything looked brighter this morning. With the children dropped to school, groceries bought, (and a lovely new jumper too-retail therapy!), I sat up with baby Luke for a coffee in the cafe. Babies are a great ice breaker, and I soon got chatting to the older lady beside me and sharing our life stories.
She told me that she had seven brothers and no sisters and five boys herself. She mentioned that she had five grandchildren, including twin girls, and then shyly showed me her trolley, piled high with all shades of pink. She told me of her love for her boys, how different they all were, and the close relationship she shared with each of them. She told me how her husband phones their youngest in Australia every single morning just to chat, and how they had visited him a few months ago and how happy he was. She told me how every Friday, all of her grandchildren come for tea, that she had bought them all costumes for Halloween, and was baking brack with money in it for them. She told me of the health problems that she and her husband had faced and beaten, and how this made her appreciate every single day. She reminded me that there was no harder job in the world than raising your children, and clucked sympathetically as she remembered the endless laundry and homeworks and cooking and runs. She advised me to get the boys into many sports- it would help them through their teenage years. She sighed, and said that you never, ever stop worrying about them, even when they're married. She said that it'll all fly by in the blink of an eye and you'll wonder where the years have gone. She said that the material stuff wasn't what they really needed or remembered, and that in the end it's all about family. She told me to hug them all close and to always remember that they were only on loan. She didn't have to say that it had all been worth it, because it couldn't have been more obvious that it had been, and it still was. In that moment, I hoped and wished and prayed for all of it too.
The funny thing was, that during our whole chat, which lasted a good half hour, eighteen month old Luke sat up between us, quietly eating and talking and smiling- absolute perfect baby behaviour-most unusual! And as I waved that lovely lady goodbye, I felt inspired and hopeful and blessed all at once. A chance meeting....but so very much more.