Friday, December 08, 2006

Grocery shopping

When the girls are behaving, and the baby has a cracker to nibble on, I find grocery shopping can sometimes be enjoyable.

One thing I do notice when I am out with the whole crew is that older women love to comment on my children. (Yes, I am biased--they are the most beautiful children!)

Sometimes it's behavior (thank you, God!) or their big blue eyes, or sometimes they just quietly look at them and smile.

Awhile back, I had an older woman (probably in her 70s or even 80s) stop me in the grocery aisle. She had a wrinkled, kind, face, and she started talking to my baby. I could tell she enjoyed him. He charmed her with his big, blue, eyes and gurgly talk. She commented on the number of my children. I waited for the "wow, you have your hands full" comment. (Mind you, I only have four. And while I do I have my hands full, it's not as many children as some women I know.) But it never came. She only smiled some more and continued to tell me that she had had 7 children--with a pride in her voice. She was quiet. (I guess she was waiting for me to say "you must have had your hands full!" comment.) But, instead, I praised her, and told her she was blessed. She told me she was an only child, and so having 7 children was a huge difference from what she had grown up with. I enjoyed her wrinkles, which to me, seemed beautiful, a telling sign of the years of care she had probably done for her children. And then she just stood there, and quietly looked some more at my children. I didn't rush her, we were both quiet. I know how it feels when you just want to stare and look at children...and remember. And so we parted, and I walked away, feeling blessed. I hope I blessed her.

Raising children is hard work. (Just ask this mama who went to bed at 2 a.m. because baby wouldn't go to sleep.) But the beautiful thing is that we as mothers are being refined through them. Whether it's through the ungodly hours of the night, when it's hard to be Godly, or bringing the whole crew to the grocery store, we are being refined. I know for certain that my face won't look refined as I get older. But I know my heart will.


L.L. Barkat said...

I like that you took the time and didn't rush on... I'm sure she was blessed.

bluemountainmama said...

there's nothing more beautiful than a mother- saddlebags, wrinkles, and all! especially those who allow themselves to be and look natural, not trying to undo nature. lovely encounter!

Anonymous said...

Yes, our children do make us partly who we are. I have learned so many things about them and myself through the years. I certainly feel older and even have a few lines to show for my efforts but I like to think that they have made me a better person. I have always been a fairly patient person but since I've had kids I feel so much more in control. I guess it's that mothers instinct to be an good example to your children.
Anyway, I had a nice visit here. Take care.

pauline said...

wow what a lovely post. it is easy to forget about our own refinement esp in the difficult moments but when i remind myself of what someone told me (?) our children were given to us for a reason and we were given them for a reason it makes it make sense in the God- orderliness of it all. it is also nice when you can experience the lovely wonderful blessed side of having children too :O) i love that the best- just dont love myself much when i am being refined!! :O)
love pauline in au

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny how other people's view of our children can help change our own sometimes?
I can be exasperated with my kids in the store, and the next second, someone is smiling and saying how well-behaved they are. And THEY ARE! I'm the one who was holding them to a higher standard, which is fine, but once those encounters occur, I almost always settle down and see them through new eyes.
What a sweet post. Don't you just love being a Mama? :)

Holly said...

You WERE blessed - and so was she. What a neat encounter. :)