I took the kids out to eat at Cafe Rio last night (shhh, Adam was away for a Scout training). I am so impressed with our eating out skills that have developed–I only spent $15 for the five of us!!! Anyway, we had a good time eating and talking and teasing each other. I noticed a lady a couple of tables over stealing glances here and there. I am pretty used to that now because people naturally wonder what our story is. I figured she was just curious about our situation. So we went on eating, and she went on staring.
As she was on her way out, she stopped at our table(s) and said, “I just want to tell you that I have so enjoyed watching you enjoy your children. It is so refreshing, and I thank you for the opportunity.” I told her thank you (slightly embarrassed, of course) and told her that I appreciated the compliment. She and her husband left, and I teared up just a little because she did not preface her compliment by asking if the kids were adopted/fostered/babysat/fill in the blank. She complimented me based on what she saw–and she clearly saw that I was their mom, regardless of our situation. That was a first for me, one that I will not soon forget.
She did not witness perfectly behaved little robots, nor did she witness little terrorists. She just witnessed a mom who was engaged and happy. Her compliment, after watching me handle dinner time with four shining ninos, gave me more confidence that I am doing a great job.