“You did good.”
Just three fleeting words uttered by a kind-of-grumpy man trying to read a newspaper while his zealous wife pumped me for information on my family made a huge impression.
Catching up last Sunday at a Mexican restaurant with most of the family in one place was pure pleasure. We have just made one of the biggest leaps of faith ever. I gave my notice at work about four months ago. I left a job I loved because after 12 years of continual RIF and increasing Social Media ROI—it simply consumed me.
At the end of a double table, while my tortillas grew chilly, I bounced my 18-mos-old granddaughter back and forth between my husband and me.
An older woman at a small table just a few feet away looked over at our table with unabashed curiosity—peppering me with questions about where we lived, how many children I had, who were my children, how many grandchildren I had, where they went to school, etc.
My head was swiveling back and forth while I tried to pay attention to the delightful chatter of my son and his pregnant wife, two of their three children, my newly engaged daughter, and grinning Papa—who finally tried one last time to place Ella in the high chair.
The child was having none of it. She had missed all of her naps on this worshipful and social Sunday. She finally cuddled up and let me rock her. My guacamole was glazing over at this point.
“Oh, she is just so adorable,” the curly-haired, distracting woman said.
“What’s her name.”
“Oh, that’s wonderful. And she looks like her mom and her brother.”
The woman pointed to my side of the table where my daughter sat with my 7-year-old grandson, her nephew.
I explained patiently that all of the children belonged to the young woman on the other side of the table. The beautiful, obviously pregnant, brunette.
“Oh, my. That’s going to be a handful,” the old woman said in surprise.
Actually, I said, that’s not all. Five-year-old Madelyn is with her other grandmother right now. So they will have three girls. “Charlotte, the new baby; Elizabeth; and Madelyn.”
Then without missing a beat—my new-found friend said, “Well, at least she looks calm.”
Indeed, she did. After a long week sorting, packing, doing laundry and cleaning; driving children to and from school; managing the finances of her husband’s business; and preparing for a move into a new home—she was chatting at dinner with the family.
I am proud of Melissa. Motherhood can be a challenge at any stage—but with two elementary age children, and one in diapers and one on the way—she does an excellent job of caring for her children and her home.
I am proud of my son, John, who supports his wife, and for both of them who know that Christ alone offers the true source of strength and success.
As my daughter, Belinda, finished her meal, she scooped Ella up so I could eat. I turned and asked my new friends to excuse me.
Lost in a quick discussion of wedding colors, we ended dinner on a high note.
Giving the couple a quick wave as I picked up my purse in one hand and the diaper bag in another—I barely heard the words over the top of the newspaper—but I saw the intensity of the man’s gaze through his glasses, and that look stopped me in my tracks.
A man of few words—he had mostly observed the exchange at our table and the one between his wife and me. But his words have meant a lot this week as I ponder what kind of mother I am, what kind of helpmate I am to my husband, and what the future holds for me.
“You did good.”