This is a letter that I would write to you, but cannot seem to say to myself. It is me, of course, but I will write it in the third person, maybe in the hopes that some of it will sink in eventually…..

To the mom in the tile section of the hardware store:

I love you. You are wonderful.

It doesn’t matter that you are sitting on the cart looking dejected while your kids are running barefoot up and down the aisle.

It doesn’t matter that they are building a house out of sponges and wanting you to ‘blow their house down’, while you wish you could disappear into the inventory.

It doesn’t matter that store employees keep asking if they can help and you just tiredly ask them if they can babysit while you pick out tile. All you want to do is to pick out tile.

It doesn’t matter that they keep walking nervously by, wondering when you are going to leave with your unruly children.

It doesn’t matter that you feel like a total loser as your children run around screaming and acting like wild animals in a zoo.

I love you because I KNOW that you are a good mom.

I love you because I know that you have high expectations and set high standards for your children, even if you cannot make them live up to them.

I love you because you get up every day and try your hardest.

I love you because you are doing something very hard.

It really doesn’t matter that you feel like you have lost total control of your life.

It really doesn’t matter if you question every day if you are qualified for this job.

The fact that you ASK, means you ARE.

I watch you push your cart out of the store, with barefoot, dirty children in tow, piling your purchases in the back of your truck, and I know that in spite of your fatigue, in spite of your deep fear of failure, in spite of your complete embarrassment at how your children act EVERY TIME you go to the hardware store- you will still read them bedtime stories, you will still sing them to sleep, and tuck them in after they drift off after an hour of whining about monsters.

I know this, because you are me…….