So there I was, babywearing a nearly six-month old. Pushing a nearly three year old. Trying to avoid other carts and dirty looks in Trader Joe’s, and see whether the sample of the day was something my toddler would eat. (It was mushroom stuffed tortellini – so, no).
I was wondering why we were even there. I had already done the bulk of the shopping at the big warehouse store. But my son had insisted we “need to go to Trader Joe’s” when we got in the car. I asked him, “What are we going to buy there?” He replied, “Nothing.”
It was such a perfect toddler answer, I just had to take him. And anyway, what else did we need to be doing?
Isn’t this the only time in my life when I’ll be able to follow a toddler’s whim?
Probably. So off to Trader Joe’s we went.
As I waited for my sample of the day, a man with curly hair all salt-peppered approached and asked if he could help us find anything, help with anything. I smiled and said, “No, we’re just looking.”
He smiled. A true, warm smile. And said, “Wow, you’re really in the thick of motherhood, aren’t you?”
His phrase caused a thousand scenes to reply in my mind:
The sticky toast on the table as we rush out,
dancing in a forest of Christmas trees,
the late night feedings,
wearing crazy Christmas hats,
the potty seat in the back of the car,
the diaper laundry piling up,
the bounce of the bed every morning when my toddler hops up telling me “It’s Wake Up Time!”…
so many many motherhood moments…
The man continued: “It’s really the best time of your life. You may not think so now, but you’ll look back and see.”
In that moment. With my two children, one warm against me, large brown eyes peering over the edge of the baby carrier, and one brightly pointing out everything he saw in a voice that always inflects upward at the end of phrases…
I smiled and said: “You’re absolutely right. It IS the best time of my life!”
thick of things (noun)
(idiomatic) A central or major role in a situation; a position in which one is surrounded by or very involved in complex, changing events.
In the thick of motherhood. Isn’t that the truth!?
Thank you, kind, anonymous sir, for reminding me of my “major role” in this “complex, changing event” called motherhood!
When have you felt most in the thick of motherhood?