I sat there and I watched you. I watched you as you held your toddler in one arm, and your bag in the other. I watched as you smiled at those in the room and anyone who said hello to you and your child I watched as you put your toddler down, picked up his hat, and then pick him back up again. I watched as your child fell asleep in your arms as you continued with what you needed to do. I watched as you ran your fingers through his hair occasionally and he would quietly sigh while sleeping. I watched as you took care of whatever business you needed to. I watched as you cleaned your child’s hand while he was sleeping. I watched as you picked your child back up again with one arm and your bag in the other. I watched as you fumbled to get his hat again. I watched as you found a way to open the door with both arms full. I watched you leave the room and I smiled.
But I saw you.
I saw how you not just held, but carried your child. I knew that even if the walls were to come crashing down, your child would be completely safe because you as his mom were carrying him. I saw how you lit up the room with that smile, oh how you lit up the room. When you smiled at me, I felt the smile of a mom – of a woman who loves beyond the capacity of what her physical body could handle. That smile made me felt safe, nurtured, and loved because it was the smile of one who loves deeply beyond herself. I saw your tired eyes behind that smile. You didn’t yawn to gain sympathy or even empathy, but I saw behind your wide, open eyes the sleepless nights and the early mornings and the late nights. I saw the missed meals and the fast food and the snacks to fuel you for the next hour. I saw how you embraced each person who gave a smile to your child. To show kindness to your child was to show kindness to you and you returned that with your warmth. I saw how you juggled… how you juggled. The items in your arms, the weight of your child, the weight of your day, the heaviness of your heart. You juggled it so smoothly like a trained professional. I saw how though he was lying awkward on your legs in a strange office, your child felt so safe and secure that he could fall asleep in the middle of a crowded space. I saw how you took care of your tasks while always bringing your focus and attention onto loving your child by the gentle stroke of your hands. I saw you get it done. You. Got. It. Done. As a mom, you get it done. I saw you find a way to keep your child clean, healthy, and safe in the most awkward situation because no amount of eyes or the risk of losing your dignity was a factor when it comes to protecting or nurturing your child. I saw you continue to juggle it all and the tiniest gesture of prioritizing his hat translated into you making sure your child was warm no matter what the seasons may bring. I saw you find ways to open new doors for yourself, and for him.
I saw you.
I saw strength – carrying 30+ pounds in one arm is nothing compared to the worries and fears and hopes and joys of a mom. I saw joy – the smile you carried that showed the world that you had everything you needed because you had that little him next to you. I saw hope – the way you fumbled through what you were doing to secure the next steps for you and your family. I saw courage – courage to keep going when no one else is around and when too many others are around. I saw love.
I saw you, and I saw love. So mom, I just want to say… you’re doing great.