Sometimes it takes a stranger to give you perspective.
Yesterday I went to pick up Ginger from the groomer/doggie daycare place we take her every other week. Charlotte was in the car. She’s teething and she hadn’t taken her regular afternoon nap so she was fussy and out-of-sorts. This of course meant I was fussy and out-of-sorts. She passed out on the way there. Sweet! She’s asleep!
I set her down in the carrier while I paid. Just then, a squishy, big-pawed puppy bounds out of the back room, dragging a young staffer behind him. The pup sees his owner and lets out a yelp before crashing into Charlotte’s car seat.
The crying begins.
I stoop down and try to comfort her with a paci that hurts her tender little gums and she wails some more. The puppy’s owner apologizes and quickly leaves.
I look up and see the other woman looking down at me as I rock the seat back and forth. The woman asked, “How old is she?” “She’s 10 1/2 months. Uggh! She’s off her sleeping schedule and she’s getting some more teeth. She’s driving Mama crazy,” I replied. I asked her, “Do you have children?”
That’s when I saw the look in her eyes. It was a slightly empty, sad stare. It’s the look I’ve seen on the faces of friends struggling with infertility. Her voice was very low, “No. I wish we did. We’ve been trying. We don’t have any children yet.”
The staff brought out our dogs and we left as she took one more look back at my baby.
My baby. The one I’m so lucky to have in my arms. She’s a teething, fussy, out-of-sorts, beautiful, miracle I’m ashamed to say took a stranger to appreciate.