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Hero Stand-In Mom

My husband and I walked into a restaurant on Saturday evening. We were taken to a table where a waitress quickly appeared asking for our drink order. Our 16-year-old son’s band was the entertainment for the evening. The band was already on stage tuning up and preparing to perform when we walked in. They had been there for quite some time getting the stage set up. A waitress, different from the one who took our order, buzzed by our table holding a tray of food over her head. “He looks like he belongs to you,” she said, pointing to him on the stage. “Yep, he’s ours,” I responded. She delivered the food then came back to us saying, “Well I’ve made sure he had something to eat before they have to start playing. He has a glass of water up there too.” “Thank you so much” my husband replied. “I told him that I’m his momma until his got here,” she said as she, again, quickly walked off to look after her tables of customers.

Loving my kid is loving me. It feels exactly the same. Loving my kid makes the world feel a little less harsh for him. Loving my kid makes the world feel a little less alone for me. Being a parent is tough, knowing someone out there is looking out for him feels nice.

It takes paying attention though. It takes practice mixed in with the God-given compassion that most women have built in them, to see a need. I have 2 children that are high school students. They attend a large high school full of kids from all walks of life. Some of the kids drive fancy cars. Some of the kids are homeless. Some of the kids are suicidal. Some of the kids are brilliant. Some are addicts. Some have loving homes. Many do not. It’s unlikely to know the difference with just a glance. They are all navigating new waters. It’s exciting and scary for them. They need us. They need as many of us as they can get to invest in their well-being. I’ll look out for you, you look out for me, we’ll look out for each other’s kids.

Would my son have survived the evening had she not stepped up? Yes, but she couldn’t know for sure just by looking at him and I’d like to think it didn’t matter to her anyway. I’m thankful she offered it. Did my son order a 2nd meal once we got there then ate again at Denny’s afterwards because he is a bottomless pit? Yes, but for all she knew, he was there alone and needed some care. Even in the small town that I live, there are enough kids to go around. We should all be looking for them. We should be looking for kids that we can be a momma to until their momma shows up.  Looking for a way to help make life more bearable. Each other, it’s all we got in this life.

I wish I had gotten her name. I hope she stumbles upon this and reads it. Busy waitress lady, you are my hero.