Over Memorial Day weekend we took the kids to a small little desert town called Tombstone. My best friend from college just moved down around there, so we made a little weekend trip out of it. When I envision weekend outings, they're always full of fun and laughter and a lot of ice cream. I always forget that they never end up the way I perfect them in my mind. Kids aren't predictable, especially when they're tired.
And so it was as we sat in the cutest little diner in the middle of nowhere, being waited on by a 65 year old blondie in pigtails. Zoe sat crying while clicking her red cowboy boots together, and pigtailed blondie couldn't even crack a smile out of her. The cry progressed from a little cry, to a whine, to a verge of a meltdown. This doesn't happen often to her, but when it does, I want to just go and hide under a pile of rocks. I was embarrassed, annoyed, and I pulled Zoe out of the restaurant.
I put her on my lap on a little bench outside.
I wanted to yell, I really did. I was mad from being disrespected, I was tired, and I just wanted one of our little trips to end up the way that I envisioned it. We work so hard that it's not often we get to just get away and do no ounce of work... I wanted that time to count and not be full of craziness.
Somehow I managed to speak softly; patiently even. Which is not one of my strong characteristics.
At one point I almost started crying. I know, I sound like a baby.
I was just at this built up point of frustration from other things happening and felt it all circling around me as people stared at my child who would not stop crying over having to share ear plugs with her brother even though she had 6 other sets.
I finally was able to wipe away the last traces of tears, stand up, and go back inside to finish my cold food. As I got up, the cutest old women dressed as an 1800s cowgirl grabbed my arm.
Her eyes were soft and I instantly felt more peace standing in front of her.
"You're doing a good job. A really good job."
I smiled at her, "Thank you, I really appreciate that."
And walked inside.
She changed my day. The boost of confidence from that little old stranger kept replaying in my head.
"You're doing good."
I'm okay. I can do this, and I'm doing good.
And just in case nobody has told you yet this week, I just want you to know;
You're doing good.
Heads up. Smiles wide. You're doing good.