It’s official: I am now “that mother”

July 17th, 2009

“I don’t know how you do it with two kids,” a woman said to me today.

I was checking out 30 Berenstain Bear books at the local library while simultaneously rocking and binking Sir Snuggles in his stroller and keeping the corner of my eye on the Bubbers King who was reading a book to himself on the floor.

For a minute, I couldn’t believe she was talking to me, and I just stared at her funny.

Did she just say those words to me? I thought in disbelief.

For months now, those exact words had run through my mind every time I saw a mother with a toddler and baby.

Then I would keenly observe and take note of anything she did that might come in handy to know when it was me with a toddler and baby.

But that day felt so far away and like it would never really happen…..

Until today in the library.

And all of a sudden I was that mother with a toddler and a baby.

And someone else was the mother of one child watching me and wondering.

Finally, I smiled and replied with the only response there was, “We’re just figuring it out as we go.”

Because that was the truth.

And then I suddenly thought of my mother.

“You know, my mom had eight children,” I said as I hefted a huge pile of Berenstain Bear books into the bottom of Sir Snuggles’ stroller.

“What?” she replied, “How on earth?  There’s just no way!”

I laughed, “I’ve often asked her–especially now–“How did you handle eight children?” and she always answers, “I learned one at a time.  I didn’t start out knowing how to take care of eight children– I learned one at a time.””

The woman just shook her head and I smiled farewell as I herded my caravan toward the children’s section of the library.

You learn one at a time,  I thought to myself as I looked down at my two boys and smiled,  One precious child at a time.