A follow up to “I Saw You”
I was so busy running around like a mad woman I missed you several times. The day was getting later, the kids were all screaming, my husband would be home at any moment and I’d yet to clean my house or even plan supper. All I wanted was to have it all done so I could spend those last few precious evening hours cuddled on the couch with a movie. I saw you out of the corner of my eye several times but kept on trucking, uninterested.
When I finally found a moment, I snuck away to the bathroom. Upon coming out, I ran into you again. I stopped this time, a bit in shock of your appearance. It was 5pm and you were without a bra. Your greasy hair was sticking in all directions. When was the last time you had a shower? Your shirt looked 3 sizes too big, a rip in the neckline, and paint down the front. Your fleece pajama pants stuck out like a sore thumb in this 108 degree Louisiana weather. I understand though, after kid’s and husband’s uniforms, pee soaked bed sheets, and endless cycles of dirty towels, your own rotation of stretchy pants and t-shirts loses priority in the laundry schedule.
I looked you square in the eye and asked you “What happened to you?”
My reflection replied, “You got to do better.”
I turned out the light to my bedroom and walked out.
Amazing how we can hurt our own feelings. I felt worthless the rest of the day. I avoided the mirror, so far as to pee in the dark the rest of the day. How did I get to this point? It was later that night in bed I remembered the mom in the mall. How could I have been so understanding of her, but not of myself? I could only speculate about her struggle but I know mine. I’m sure she feels like me when she passes a mirror in her worn out t-shirt, yet I could think she was the most beautiful thing to grace the Lakeview Mall.
Today my boys called me beautiful and smart. Last night my husband treated me like the goddess Venus herself had fallen into his bed. They don’t see what I see, they see the woman in the mall. A beautiful sacrifice of time and self-care. A strong woman who soldiers on despite days without a proper hair brushing or a real pair of pants.
Somebody out there thinks you have it all together. Somebody out there thinks you are beautiful in your motherhood. You are somebody’s idea of the good mother. You are someone’s mom in the mall.
You may not get hit on by men while you run errands. Teen girls won’t want to be you. Young men won’t refer to you as a milf, but to other women like you, to your friends, and to your family, you are beautiful.
They see you.
You should see you.