I just judged the sh*t out of you.
And not just because you left your three-year-old son in the car by himself. With the doors unlocked. And the engine running. (Because can we all just agree that this is definitely not a smooth move?)
No, I just judged you because you did not appreciate my attempts to correct your mothering.
How dare you roll your eyes at me when I glared at you through the window of the gas station. What gall you had to sigh deeply when I mouthed “Is this your kid?” And the nerve of you not rushing out to embrace me with gratitude when I shouted “You shouldn’t leave him in the car like that!”
Don’t you know that I’m the best mother in the history of the world? Don’t you know my children are well-mannered and well-nourished and well-behaved? Don’t you know that I am doing it all the right way?
No, you couldn’t possibly know that – because I’m not. None of us are. Most of us are grasping at straws trying to figure out how not to mess our kids up completely. And if you’re anything like me, most days feel like you’re just a Ritz Cracker mess away from breaking and are in desperate need a quick cup of gas station coffee to get you through the afternoon.
So fellow mama, I’m sorry. Maybe you shouldn’t have left your son in the car, but I definitely shouldn’t have scolded you. I should’ve come inside. I should’ve bought you that cup of coffee and asked you how your day was going. I should’ve squeezed your hand and encouraged you that tomorrow will be a better day.
…And then, with your hand in mine, I should’ve lead you back out into the parking lot, to get your kid OUT of the car.
Because, well, like I said – don’t do that.
That crazy lady from the gas station parking lot.