Hey you, over there. I’m watching you, and I have to admit, I’m judging you.
I see you grab his hand in the parking lot while he flops like a fish to get away from you. You swing him up in the air, and even though you are probably exhausted from running errands with a human tornado, you turn him upside and tickle his bare belly. His squeals of laughter can be heard all the way over here.
I know you, I think. You go to work. Or you might stay home, I’m not sure. You tell yourself they will turn out OK, but in your mind, you aren’t really sure you’ve made the right decision.
I watch as you squat down and take her chin in your hand so that she has to look in your eyes. You are outside the ice cream store, and you are frustrated because she whacked her sister in the head. Still, you talk to her in a low voice so that she isn’t embarrassed. And even though you probably feel like saying, “I just don’t want to raise an asshole,” I’ll bet you didn’t.
You look tired. Occasionally, you look around like you don’t know how you ended up with all those kids who run up to you and insist that you are their mommy. They touch you a lot. They are loud and sticky. And, still, I can see that you give them everything that you have. Everything.
I see how you are brushing the tears off of your little girl’s face. She was running, totally fast I might add, and she hit a rock and Super-Manned into the air. She looked right at you after she landed, because she knew you would be there. I could see you struggle to keep your face calm. You knew that if you freaked out, she would freak out.
I can tell how much you love him by how he clambers up onto your lap and rests his hand on your cheek to get your attention. You pause while talking to your friend, and when you see him, the light in your eyes changes. It’s like you never knew that someone was going to love you that much.
You are driving, and she cries because the sun is in her eyes. You take off your sunglasses and hand them to her.
I see you take out your phone at the playground. You take some pictures, because damn, aren’t they cute? And then you check Facebook, you know, just to interact with another adult for five seconds. I saw that person without kids tell you to enjoy every moment, looking pointedly at your phone. I’ll trip them for you, ‘kay?
I also see how you beat yourself up—every day. You might think, “Am I doing enough with them? Are they normal? Are they decent? Have I screwed them up somehow? Am I enough?
And hey, I’m the one over here watching you and judging you. And if you could see yourself, really see yourself, you would know that, yes, you are enough.