Tonight, on my way home, I stopped by the local Chevron for a fill up. I had to prepay because I was using cash; and while I was waiting in line, I noticed a man and his 3 boys. The man was maybe mid 30's? His sons were around 5, 7, and 10? Just a guess. And these boys were quiet, and well mannered as they scoured the aisles in search of the treat that their Daddy had apparently promised them. The Dad was just hanging out, casually looking around like he didn't have anywhere to be at 9:30 pm on a Thursday night. He was waiting patiently, lovingly, tenderly; he was allowing his children to take their time. And when they had each picked out their prize, he calmly paid $9 for their treats, and walked them out to his older model van.
It reminded me of the times I spent with my Dad on the weekends. My dad was like this man. My dad's thermostat was always set on 'chill'. He could have cared less that my sister and I spent so long trying to figure out what treat we wanted. Would it be candy? A coke? Oh! Chips!?!?! It took us forever.... because we never got treats when we were with our mom. Our mom woudn't even let us out of the car to so much as look at all the treats inside the store. I have to admit I resented her for it. She wasn't patient like my Daddy. She wasn't tender like the man at the store tonight. Grace wasn't really a word she understood, giving wasn't really an act she was accustom to.
The most heart breaking part of this journal is that I realized tonight, inside that gas station, that I suck at being a mom! I have not yet learned the err of my mother's ways, because I was being just like her! If I needed to pay for gas, it was absolutely out of the question to bring all 3 girls inside that store with me just so I could hand the cashier a $20 bill and grab my receipt. And I most certainly did not have the time, and oh! not even the least bit of energy to wait around while a 3 and a 5 year old spend minute after minute making a decision about a junk food choice that would cost way more than our budget to afford. No.... uh-uh... this Mommy has places to be, children to feed, laundry to wash, dishes to clean, floors to sweep..... oh (SIGH). I understand now why my mom handled us in such a harsh manner. I get it now. But I didn't get it then! And back then is when it mattered the most to me.
I know I'm busy, and sure!, I know that 'one day when they are older and have kids of their own' my girls will understand why I was so tense, and impatient, and unwilling to let them pick out a treat from the gas station, or even the grocery store. But NOW is when it matters to them. Now is when they need me to be so sweet, and tender, and loving, and patient. Now is when they need to think that they are special enough to walk into a convenient store and pick out an insanely over priced item as their prize. Not because they were good enough or obedient, but because it just happened to be a Friday afternoon, and I happened to need gas, and they happened to be in the car with me when I filled up.
Because that's what I really wanted my mom to do... and she didn't take the time to show me how much she loved me, whether it was a special treat, or a bit of quality 'mommy daughter' time, or even a snuggle beside her while we watched a movie. There wasn't a whole lot of love being shown, though I understand that she did truly love me. I want my girls to know, with out any part of their minds doubting it, that I adore them, and cherish them! And I would gladly give up a measly 10 minutes of my stressed out, overwhelmed life to make them feel important, even if it's something as simple as a walk down the candy aisle at Chevron.
The Past Two Weeks
3 months ago