I was at the gym the other day with my daughter packing up to go home. I had her sitting facing me while I gathered our things and an older woman walked up. She commented on my daughter's long hair (she has the hair of a 4 year old) and asked how old she was, 11 months. She then started saying "oh I remember when my daughter was that age..." and I braced myself. Anyone else have that happen? Well meaning strange stops to ask you about your kid and then proceeds to give you unsoliticited advice on how to range your kid? Oh just me? Anyway, so I braced myself...
But then she went on to say how much she loved seeing children about this age and how she missed having her daughter be that age. I asked her how old her daughter was and she said, "oh she's over 20 now, but I really miss this age." She went on to talk about how fast the time goes by and how precious this time was for her and what a blur it feels like now.
What really stuck with me was that she asked if I took a lot of pictures of her. Laughing I said I had tons of them on my phone but that I'd printed them out and put many of them in an album. She lamented the she had tons of albums at home and she loved looking through them. And then she looked at me and said "Later in their life, if they go through a time where they don't agree with you, or tell you you're a bad parent, look at those pictures. Those pictures will remind you that you did everything you could do to be the best mother you could and that you gave her everything you could. Keep those pictures, you'll want them later."
And as she walked away I silently thanked her for her wisdom. This wisdom of staying present, recognizing that I'm doing my best at all times and recognizing how beautiful and fleeting this journey with my little one is. It was the one time I found myself infinitely happy for the unsoliticed advice of strangers.
Wisdom and insight with a dash of humor to help guide you on your journey through motherhood.