This is a moment from the past that I really can't believe I haven't recorded until now. It is really not a big deal on the surface, but it was so profound to me.
Gavin was around 16 months (?), and we were at the grocery store (as you might have guessed from the title). He had already gotten bored with looking at the shelves and holding things for me and was starting to fuss. I pulled one of his favorite books from the diaper bag -- Mealtime -- yes, a book about food, his true love. I turned the book toward him and leaned on the cart with my elbows, so I could push the cart forward while keeping my hands free for turning pages. I continued to shop while I pushed and read, and I got several smiles or looks of amusement from other shoppers. Then we passed a gentleman well-past retirement age who gave us such a wistful look of joy and fondness, I could tell his heart was touched. I don't know exactly how to describe it, but I couldn't imagine that he was thinking anything other than about the time in his own life when his children were young. I don't know if, so many years ago, he treasured his time with his kids or wasted it, but it was obvious from the look on his face that he deeply felt the value of it now. And it hit me like a ton of bricks what a special time I am experiencing right now. It made me think that -- though I know the Lord will bring me purpose and joy in all seasons of my life -- there will be a part of me that always longs to come back to this time. And I couldn't stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks...in the salsa aisle...and the freezer section...and near the olive bar... (so embarrassing).
(What I'm not saying) Maybe because I waited so long to have a child and found meaning in my Lord and the many things he put before me to be and do before I had Gavin, but I am not one of those people to tell you that your life cannot be complete without a child in it. Those insinuations were simultaneously heart-breaking and infuriating to me before I had a baby (okay, and after).
(What I am saying) That one look on a stranger's face brought an enhanced perspective to the mom-journey that I already loved. It is a beautiful picture that I will always treasure. Thank you, stranger. May you be blessed in rich and wonderful ways.