When I was young, you could simply look at me and I’d cry. I was afraid of my parents, uncles, aunts, teachers, professors. It’s amazing how much we change when we become parents.
Change is good. I used to enjoy running all over town on errand day. Now, I appreciate the convenience of completing errands at one location. It makes life easier when you have a 3 year-old that goes everywhere you go.
Last week, when completing our routine at the local grocery slash pharmacy slash bank slash Starbucks, my errand partner was in a cranky mood. The demand had been rearing its head all morning long. By the time we’d hit the deli, bakery and produce, we were close to meltdown mode. “Just one last, quick stop before we checkout and go home,” I said, as I forced the little legs back though the holes of the cart’s seat again.
When we reached the pharmacy, there was just one person ahead of us. I was thanking God for that while prying little arms from my neck when a woman joined the line behind us. Almost immediately, this woman leaned into me from behind and indicated that neither my cart nor my child belonged in this line.
Oh. No. She. Didn’t.
Without any thought, I replied to this woman in a way that would have been considered uncharacteristic of me in the past. You see, when I mentioned meltdown mode, I was talking about mine. I won’t quote myself and I won’t disclose which four-letter words were included in my response but I will say this. I’m almost certain this particular woman will never advise a mother of a cranky, clingy 3 year-old that way again.
My daughter fell asleep on the drive home (another brief God-thanking session) so I had a rare opportunity to reflect. Driving along, I realized I must look like an idiot laughing to myself out loud. It was more like roaring with laughter. I felt like a proud lioness that had just protected her cub from a predator.
It really is amazing how we change when we become parents. Mind you, I have an almost 17 year-old so my change happened a long time ago. I now recognize my primal transformation to lioness. Or bitch, as I’ve heard it said a time or two. But most certainly, I’m a pushover no more.
Have you ever been a pushover? Did you experience a notable transition, one way or the other, after becoming a parent?