Rough morning. Let's leave it at that.
Except to add that it involved a cart full of groceries, two boys most enthralled with the other's giddy humor, the help of three adults to get us through the checkout lane and out the door, and even still I forgot my receipt and my greeting cards.
And everyone got an extended, isolated timeout when we got home.
And Tucker said, "Mommy, what means 'shame?'"
"It means you should feel very sorry, because you did the wrong thing."
"Do you feel that way?" I asked.
Well, okay then.
By the time we met my mom for lunch, my head was spinning in all directions. Lunch was no small feat, as they wanted to sit next to one another but didn't care to be near one another. (Go figure.) They both wanted to use the bathroom before, during, and after the meal. They both wanted booster seats, but neither wanted to sit in his. They both danced circles around me, and they bounced off my brain.
As we stood to leave (and Tyler went to the bathroom yet again with Grandma), the gentlemen at the table beside us said, "Ma'am, we've just been enjoying your fellas today."
"Oh, dear. I mean, oh, thank you." I think I straightened my hair or tugged on my shirt with that comment - a gesture that says I'm trying so hard to keep a measure of myself and this environment under control.
Extending his arm with a handful of grace, he said, "Ma'am, it's okay. They're boys. This is what they do. They're doing just what they were made to do."
And just like that, my blood pressure knocked it down a few pegs.
His lunch companion chimed in: "It's so true, ma'am. It's what we do. When I was young, my mom used to take me grocery shopping. And when I was finished with the errand, I would step on the back of her heels until her shoes came off. She would yell at me and swat at me, but I would just keep doing it until her heels were raw and we finally went home. It's what boys do."
(Little did he know that we had just returned from the grocery store, and I was thankful that my son who would love to do some such thing was off to the bathroom, yet again.)
"Ma'am, they're charming young men. And you're doing a great job. And they're doing what they do."
And may God bless their generous hearts for encouraging a woman whose name they did not know.
By the time we got home, I heard myself say, "Oh, those sweet boys..."
A little affirmation can go a long, long way.