When I feel stressed, I know it secretly seeps over into my littles. With a giant work project looming (and overdue) and some required travel lately, I have felt my fuse get a bit shorter. So I was determined that we would make today special.
Every Tuesday before Halloween, Cheekwood hosts an adorable little trick-or-treating event. It's usually a perfect opportunity to get out into nature, get some free candy, and snag some adorable pictures. But this year, of course, it was POURING. Having already promised we would go, we decided to brave the rain--and luckily got a bit of help from Andrew. We made it in, through the craft, around the indoor trick-or-treat loop, and back to the car with no major incidents. Ellis even woke up in time to dress up. Major success. Since the event was a bit shorter than normal, we decided to go crazy and have breakfast for lunch at our favorite pancake place. Everyone ate and behaved decently--another success.
As we were getting up to pay, our server told us that a couple next to us had paid for our lunch. They told her that they had four children, and while they wouldn't want to go back, we reminded them of the days their kids were young. We have no idea who they were--they didn't come over and say hi, they didn't ask us any questions. They just quietly treated us and made a sweet day that much sweeter.
As a mom in a big family, I get so tired of hearing "Are they all yours?" I am never sure what the questioner wants...an apology that I have so many children so close in age? And while I would love to believe I am misinterpreting their intentions, for almost everyone that asks that question that is the entire thought. It's not followed up with anything. No "how nice" or "they're adorable." Sometimes a "well you've got your hands full," which also seems a bit condescending. But the one thing I never tire of is the older couples or the moms or dads that come and, with such sweetness, tell us about their own family. Tell us that they have three or four kids, grown now. Tell us that we remind them of themselves. That they remember how crazy life was. That life will eventually become less chaotic.
So a huge thank you to the precious couple that bought us lunch. Thanks for reminding us that our children bring joy to people other than ourselves. And for giving me an example of the kind of person I hope to grow into.