I love getting compliments about my children. Love them. But they also make me feel weird; as though it’s boastful to receive them.
If a friend compliments Kit or Sam IRL (this is different from social media; keep those Insta comments coming, friends!), I respond with nervous laughter and then change the subject or say something self-deprecating, lest they think I have a big head about my beautiful kids or something.
I don’t know. I’m weird.
But if a stranger (who also happens to be old and a woman) in a grocery store wants to compliment my children? Someone I don’t know but who will fawn over my child and then walk away? Someone with whom I can coo along with, with no awkwardness (on my part)?
LET. ME. AT. THEM.
Today I took Kit to my favorite place in the world (Trader Joe’s) and she looked adorably ridiculous — mismatched clothing, a weird swim hat she is currently obsessed with, a beaded necklace Sam made and she found in the car. She was perfectly edible. I plopped her right in the shopping cart and veered her towards the first older woman I saw.
Friends, this random old woman did not disappoint.
Her, in a kind grandmotherly voice: My goodness! Look at her beautiful eyes!
Me: Yes!!!! I KNOW. She has beautiful eyes!!!!
Her: She is so beautiful.
Me: So beautiful!!!!
Her, talking to Kit: Oh! Are you wearing a hat? How smart of you to wear a hat!
(Kit smiles and points to her hat)
Her: What a smart baby! What a smart, beautiful girl!
Me: She is! So smart!! She knows what a hat is!! She’s also courageous and kind!!!
Her: She is so sweet. Okay, have a nice day. Enjoy your beautiful baby.
Me: Thank you. I will!!!!!!
Me (in my head): I LOVE YOU. NEVER LEAVE. I SHALL FOLLOW YOU TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, OR AT LEAST THE FROZEN FOOD AISLE.
Man, how much nicer would parenting be if you had a Greek chorus of old ladies you don’t know surrounding you, just being adorable about your adorable children? And then who will then maybe sweep your kitchen floor? (Just shooting from the hip here, people, while we’re making wishes.)
It’s the sweetest thing and makes me feel so appreciative and lucky.
If i ever need a pick me up, I should just head to the grocery store and hang out there with Kit until an old lady comes over and compliments her.
Never die, old ladies in grocery stores!!
Btw: Did you know I have a newsletter? I do. It’s short and funny and has some recipe ideas as well as some links to interesting articles, etc. It’s like The Skimm but for busy, tired parents and women who don’t look a day over 35. I promise you’ll like it.
You can subscribe here. It comes out every Friday.