Sidewalk Sprinkler

When I became a mom I was working full-time and found my own “playgroup” of sorts at work.

I was surrounded by bright, successful, funny and interesting women. Some of them were ahead of me in the whole parenting game while others were walking right along with me.

It was great to have my own personal “pit crew” of sorts. I would come to work exhausted, scared or overwhelmed.  After spending a little time with these ladies I felt put back together, ready to head home and love on my sweet baby boy.

When I left my teaching job I actually mourned the loss of camaraderie and connection I enjoyed with my co-workers. I was suddenly alone with two babies and, unlike my work schedule, I had no idea when I’d speak with another adult during the day.

Although I was apprehensive and imagined conversations centering around poop, spit-up and diapers….I went to playgroup.

A friend in our sunday school class invited me.  I was excited to be with these women but I couldn’t BEGIN to imagine what we would have in common.  Up to this point all the mothers in my life were also educators and we shared that common characteristic. What in the WORLD was I going to have in common now?!?!

So we all had kids – didn’t everyone in the world? Just because we had children didn’t mean we’d want to be friends – or did it?

I pulled up to the park where we were meeting and took a deep breath. I prayed for energy and help to find a connection.  I prayed that my children would behave – we had an impression to make!

My 2 1/2-year-old waddled toward the park benches and I clicked the infant carrier onto the stroller.  I was greeted by smiles and it was great to see that these women were truly welcoming me into their group.

After meeting everyone I quickly found myself engrossed in how they connected and talked with each other.  I wasn’t aware of how intensely I was listening until I realized that everyone else’s eyes were focused on something happening behind me.  I was the ONLY one looking at the group.

I turned around to see my son, pants at his ankles, creating a 45 degree arch with his pee.  The worst part was hearing him yell: “Run through the sprinkler!” to the slack-jawed and horrified children staring at him

I think the mothers around me saw my anger rising.  Turning on my heels I was ready to unleash all the discipline techniques I knew. That’s when one of my new mom friends touched my arm and smiled at me.  I was in SHOCK! How could she be smiling!?!

In a kind, compassionate voice she looked into my eyes; “We’ve all been there.  I know you’ll take care of it – but don’t let your embarrassment decide his punishment.  It is kind of funny”.

Suddenly I realized that my teeth were grinding in my mouth and my fists were clenched.  I took a deep breath, whispered a thank you to my new friend and headed toward my son.

That day at the park opened my eyes. I was STILL surrounded by bright, successful, funny and interesting women – nothing had changed except our surroundings.  Instead of a classroom I was in a park.  I had traded in my dress suits for sweatpants and my briefcase was now a diaper bag.

I wouldn’t trade those early days for anything, but I wish I could have learned my lesson without my little sidewalk sprinkler showing my true colors and my obvious need for other moms to help lead me.

I hope you have a wonderful group of women that help you find moments of clarity and joy.  Whether you spend time in a cubicle or a cul-de-sac I know each Mom who comes into your day has a beautiful purpose about her.

Let’s celebrate each other and how gracious we can be; especially when our children enjoy a time of self-expression that brings us a moment of embarrassment.

Enjoy your week and have fun with the memories that are made within it!


11 Responses to “Sidewalk Sprinkler”

  1. 2 Kelli October 28, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    What an awesome blog – such wisdom! Thanks for sharing your embarrassment and showing moms a better way to react!

  2. 3 Shannon Hester October 26, 2011 at 6:08 AM

    I too left teaching to be a stay at home mom and found the best friends I could imagine in a playgroup. It is so nice to know that even though we come from different places we can still be friends and talk about things that we are going through!

  3. 4 Heather Finnegan October 25, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    Something we all need to remember! Out in “public” is when I need to step back and evaluate what exactly my son (I have 2) did wrong and what consequence that truly requires! Thanks be to God for all of the wonderful women that have come before us that lead us down the path of motherhood. I pray God can use us to encourage the next generation of mothers!

  4. 5 Rachel W. October 21, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    So funny! I was babysitting my friends’ boys one day at the park, and one of them peed on a tree. I have all girls, and was flabbergasted! But it was nice to not have to run to the bathroom each time.

  5. 6 Holy Spirit MOPS October 21, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    Love this story! Thanks for letting us re-publish it in our Mothers of Preschoolers Newsletter 🙂 We have a lot of moms who have left work behind and can relate. We enjoyed your presentation last year and we look forward to seeing you in the spring!

  6. 7 jillannsavage October 20, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    Kasey, I love this story. I especially love this phrase, “don’t let your embarrassment decide his punishment.” What wisdom!

  7. 8 Susan Heim October 20, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    That story is hilarious! One of my sons peed in a Home Depot parking lot once (in the grassy area). He just couldn’t hold it any longer!

  8. 9 Dawn Maria October 20, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    My son peed on a tree on the way home from school one time. My next door neighbor made sure I knew about it. I wish that gal from the park had been my neighbor!

  9. 10 Tristi October 20, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Thanks for a good laugh! We are definitely not alone.

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