You know the ones. You can spot (or hear) us as soon as we enter the store. We have our two year old in the cart; the cart he wants out of. We know as soon as we step foot into the joint that it’s a bad idea. BUT WE JUST NEED MILK!
Survival mode kicks in. You suddenly become Katniss entering the Hunger Games. This has quickly escalated to become an all-out battle to grab that gallon of milk and get the heck out of this piece. You spot the dairy section to the far left back corner of the store and you measure all of the obstacles in your way. Make a wheelie around the balloons. Deflect and distract by the cereal aisle. Pass other shoppers like you’re in the Indy 500. Use your body as a shield in front of the candy as you’re waiting in line to pay. Wrestling, bribing, pleading, promising.
But the worst part? Even worse than holding your breath for the last five minutes as if you were in a life and death battle with a sumo wrestler octopus? The stares. The ever so slight shaking of heads that are magnified with laser-like focus. This has become a spectator sport and you are the gladiator. Beads of sweat start to form on your forehead. Why do you always choose the line with the check-writing coupon-collector?
Then you see her. Your fellow tribute. A comrade in the mommy game. Just one knowing look and all your defenses melt and you feel yourself breathing again. A simple nod of the head speaks volumes. A silent “You got this Momma.” “Been there, done that”. “You’re almost outta here”. That one understanding unspoken thumbs up is all the good you need to make this situation better. When you see someone feeling a little knocked down, sometimes all it takes is a smile to pick them up. Or if you’re really a badass, throw up your three finger salute to show that you’re on their team.
Now, go be somebody’s Mockingjay. Give that proverbial pat on the back and be the good in another mother’s day.