with my 6 year old. We were buying some much needed clothing for dad. I really detest shopping and shopping at the mall is the worst. But, Daddy really needed the clothes, so off we went.
After shopping my sweet 6 year old conived me into taking her to the food court for something to drink. As we were sitting there sipping on our drinks, I was looking around the busy food court at all the various people passing by our table. Malls bring the best and worst of humanity to the forefront, don't you think?
As I was looking around, my eyes glanced on a mom, probably in her early 30's. She had a toddler, 2ish, and a baby in a stroller. There was nothing particularly unusual about her that made me stop to watch her. She was pretty, trim, blonde hair, dressed like a "mom". :) Nothing unusual for around here. What struck me was the expression on her face. She looked tired. She looked harried. She looked, well, defeated. She didn't look mad or particularly sad. She just didn't look happy. Again, nothing unusual for around here.
It's a look that I'm sure most of us can appreciate. Things to do, errands to run, kids to shuffle around. No joy, just get it done and move on.
As I watched her bundle everyone up*, I began to wonder if mothers of other generations had the same look on their faces. Were they also harried and joyless? Was their to-do list outweighing the happiness of just spending those few precious moments we have with our children before they're grown with children of their own? Or, is it our generation that has become dissatisfied with life in general? Have we overscheduled all our lives to the point of there not being any time left to simply just be joyful? I don't remember what my mothers face looked like when we were younger. I know she was happy and mad at various times. But, when we ran errands, did she have that "look" on her face?
When we were children we didn't go out nearly as often as people do now. And the generation before us went out even less. I just wondered as I watched this lady push her stroller out of the food court if we would be happier if we just stayed home more often.
*I digress here for a moment to giggle at my word choice, bundle. "Bundle everyone up" conjures up images of getting my kids ready to go out in the dead of winter when we lived in Ohio. Certainly not the same type of bundling happening in these here parts. No, with temperatures in teens, as in one hundred and teen something or other, there is no bundling compared with a Midwestern winter.