No, I'm not referring to the Urban Dictionary definition of the morning-after-a-one-night-stand-wearing-the-same-clothes-as-the-day-before walk of shame. I'm writing about something far worse...
The preschool mom walk of shame.
I can write about it now. There was a time when I didn't dare. A time when I so narrowly escaped this dreaded walk that I feared writing about it might somehow make it become a reality.
Last year when Jack was still a nursing newborn and Maddie was not yet in school, the mornings were extremely difficult.
Waking up to find a newborn in my bed (how did that get there?) and realizing we had exactly 15 minutes to get Parker to preschool...not a fun feeling. Shouting at the kids to "Get a move on! We're gonna be late!" Shoving Parker into the least offensive looking/smelling dirty jeans I can find because it's been days since I've done laundry. Pouring Cheerios directly onto the table (because who has time for bowls on mornings like these?). Sighing because I know the battle to get Maddie out of her favorite, flimsy, summer pajamas into real, warm clothes just isn't worth it. Enduring Jack's ear-piercing cries because I know he's ready to nurse, but I just can't do it yet. Whew! We're finally in the van.
I'm pretty sure I catch some air as I sail over the speed humps in our neighborhood. White knuckles as I grip the steering wheel and try to tune out the whines of my children and cries of my baby. School is a mere .6 miles from our house. We can make it, we can make it, I know we can make it!
Why was I so frantic, you might wonder?
Simple. I wanted to avoid the preschool mom walk of shame.
If I arrived in time, I could still pull up in the carpool line and have a teacher escort Parker inside. However, if I missed this window of opportunity...I shuddered to think.
Picture this. Disheveled hair. Teeth unbrushed. Not a speck of make-up (to hide the enormous bags under my eyes from sleep-deprivation). Braless, because, hey, I've been nursing. Wardrobe? Mismatched pajamas and pink crocs. My only possible saving grace was Aaron's oversized raincoat (which might camouflage the lack of bust support and cover the hair). However, should I have to enter the school, my frightful face and dragon breath would likely traumatize the small children inside.
Even worse, I would be pushing a wailing baby in a stroller, carrying a shoeless, shivering 3 year old, while barking at my preschooler to "Hurry up!" for all the world to see. And by "all the world," of course, I mean all the moms. The moms sitting in the warmth of their shiny minivans, in their color-coordinated tracksuits, with their perfectly coiffed hair and flawless makeup. I'm not making this up, people! I've seen these moms. I know they exist! I don't pretend to understand them or their ability to complete morning workouts, coordinate and press their children's clothes, whip up a tasty, organic, balanced breakfast, and get everyone to school ahead of time. (Okay, I'm guessing about those last details, but I bet I'm right.)
So now you know why I was speeding like a maniac to school. Thus far, I have managed to avoid this walk of shame. Jack is older. We have an actual schedule and routine. Thank goodness! However, just the other day, I saw a mom making the walk. I so wanted to roll down my window and say, "It's okay! Don't worry! Your day will get better!"
I wanted to, but then something occurred to me. Maybe this mom didn't care. Maybe she and her daughter were jogging inside because her little one couldn't wait to greet her friends. Maybe, just maybe, not everyone was as hung up on appearances and what others think as I am. Ouch.
1 Samuel 16:7"For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."
Oh that I would internalize this truth and instill it in my kiddos. Slow me down, Lord. Purify my heart. Help me to focus on hearts (others and my own) as You do. Amen!