To the mom sitting a few rows up, I saw you yesterday, traveling with your two small babies – I saw you.
I saw you let your kid eat those pretzels off the floor, picking your battles, making sure he was fed. I saw your breast too, exposed to the world, doing the very thing it was designed to do.
I saw you order a drink. I saw you take a small sip, savoring it before finishing it in the next three gulps. I doubt you were trying to get drunk, more likely just trying to keep it out of reach of the babies.
I saw you snap a selfie. Maybe you wanted to post it to impress someone else. Maybe you wanted to remember this moment when your kids were young and you thought you wouldn’t make it.
I saw you.
You crushed it
I saw you, unashamed, and unembarrassed, when your toddler started screaming. I saw you prioritize the needs of your family over the comfort of others. I heard you calming your son instead of apologizing to strangers. And I heard you tell him, in the quiet moments of post-tantrum settling, that he needed to be considerate of others. I saw you trying to teach your children your values, even when it would have been easier to give in.
I saw you ignore the hateful glance from the woman in front of you. I saw you own your right, your children’s right to be in the world. I saw you taking up space. Refusing to shrink, to stay at home. Refusing to lose yourself in your kids.
I saw you move your arm across your sleeping child’s head as the flight attendant moved past with the hot coffee, instinctively placing your body between him and any harm. It was slight, so slight I’m not sure you recognized it yourself.
Although I’m sure in the world of motherhood you’ve overanalyzed every move. If you’re like me, you’ve ping ponged in the array of studies and advice, dizzying yourself in the swirl of conflicting and opaque information.
Maybe in that swirl you don’t see the little things you do naturally.
I saw your humanity in your clenched fists, your composure in your smooth whisper, and the strength to move that anger to calm, refusing to let anything boil over or explode, taking responsibility for your own emotions. Where did you learn to control that? Maybe your parents showed you. Maybe they didn’t.
I saw you close your eyes, just for a few minutes, one hand on each kid, a smile on your lips, knowing you did it.I saw you find that joy, I saw you unafraid to hide it.
I saw you out there in the world. Doing it in your style. Doing your best.
I saw you momma. You crushed it.