To the quiet, sweet woman in the Toyota dealership service department waiting room this morning, thank you.
9:00 am on the first day of summer, I had the van scheduled for an oil change so that we can get ready for all the summer fun coming up. The boys were up and ready to start the summer. What kid wants to sit in a waiting room for an hour or more when there are bikes to ride and dirt to get under your fingernails? The troops chose a book to read while we waited and that worked for a while but then attention spans waned.
I love Greg to pieces at this stage. His cute first words, bright eyes and sweet giggles are enough to make me want to squeeze him all day long. But what comes with this adorable stage is an absolutely, relentless curiosity. The curiosity is innate and it is how toddlers learn so quickly about the world but as a mother it is tiring. As I visualize myself in the waiting room while I write this my stomach clenches and I can feel my neck muscles strain. One fire is enough to put out at once but several is enough to add to the grey hairs on your head at light speed. I have three. In all fairness, Keith is an absolute gem. He is 7, almost 8 and he is a pretty typical first-born. He follows the rules, quietly entertains himself and helps out if asked. I happily let him bury his nose in his Lego Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary. One corralled, two to go. Tommy has matured so much in the last year. I am so proud of how far he has in every aspect of his academic and social skills. By no fault of his own Tommy is four. Four is an age of testing boundaries, short attention spans and the wiggles. Picture me as the ball in a ping pong match between Tommy and Greg and that is what my 78 minutes in the service “lounge” looked like. But who was counting.
The diamond for me in this crazy morning came about 50 minutes in when a woman looked up at me from her reading and with smiling eyes said, ” I don’t care about what you think in your head. You are doing a great job.” sob. If I hadn’t been in public, I would have been a blubbering idiot. I gave her the most sincere smile I could muster while wrestling with a one-year-old and giving a four-year-old “the look”. What I really wanted to do was hug this stranger and thank her for seeing straight to my soul.
Those small words given to me by a stranger were a precious gift. They made my first day of summer magical.
And if keeping three boys in line while waiting once a day wasn’t enough. I took them this afternoon to get haircuts. Here is my favorite photo of the waiting at the barber shop. My littlest covered in sugar and drool from the Tootsie Roll pop used as a bribe. My oldest quietly reading a chapter book. Taken with my point and shoot because of all the sudden movements I have to make in order to corral said littlest.