There are many moments throughout motherhood that I think to myself, “Gee. This isn’t exactly what I signed up for.” Like when you travel with your two year-old through the airport.
Waiting in the baggage line with my daughter was a nightmare.
Passing through security was also nightmare.
Simply walking through the airport to reach our gate was a nightmare.
And then finding out our flight was delayed for at least two hours – another utter nightmare.
The problem is, my daughter doesn’t want to go in the stroller anymore nor does she want to hold my hand. She simply is at that stage where she wants to be nothing but be Miss Independent, especially in one of the busiest terminals in the country.
Bottom line? She drives me absolutely crazy. She steals my patience, my sanity and my salvation at every turn and corner, making me wonder why the hell I go anywhere with her in the first place and that day in the airport, I was done.
My brain was fried, every ounce of patience was gone and entertaining my little firecracker was virtually impossible. I exhausted all of the snack tricks, coloring book tactics and the like. We still had hours on the watch before we would board the plane and I thought it was a hopeless feat.
And then, something happened – something that I believe I was supposed to witness.
A mother and father were pushing their daughter in a wheelchair and parked near us, placing their belongings on the empty row of seats in front of us. It was hard to determine exactly how old the woman in the wheelchair was considering her head hung down low. At first I thought her head was low because she was sleeping – but when she tried to lift her head and barely raised her hands to motion to her mother in a very loud repeated groan, I knew this was her only means of communication.
Her mother immediately rushed to her side, trying to figure out what her daughter wanted, who appeared to have the developmental ability of a 10 month-old baby.
I continued to watch out of the corner of my eye as this brave mother attended to her daughter with such ease and grace. She gave her something to drink and some bracelets from her suitcase that she could touch. This mother kept her composure at all times, never letting the fierce groaning from her daughter or the strong stares from others fluster her, nor did she grow impatient with her child.
As this was going on, I sunk into my chair and peered over at my own child who was not sitting in a wheelchair but one who walks with her own two feet. She was exploring her environment and seeking independence; a child with a brain that is able to process and check for understanding, a child that is able to speak and communicate with me, a child that will have so many more opportunities than that woman will see in her entire lifetime.
I slowly turned back around and sat in a puddle of guilt.
What I witnessed that day was a warrior mom who reminded me to count my blessings.
Every single damn one of them.
As mothers, we are ALL faced with some kind of adversity but somehow, someway – we get through it.
SHE is a warrior mom.
SHE is a true inspiration to the rest of us.
SHE is a reminder of the strength we demonstrate when we’re faced with a difficult hand.
Thank you, warrior mom – whose name I don’t even know – for putting me in my place. I didn’t have the pleasure of formally meeting you, but you are certainly a mom who will be etched in my mind for a lifetime.