Dear Mom Who Is Sleeping in Carline,
I get it.
Don’t feel embarrassed that the crossing guard has to blow her whistle at you to wake you up because half of the cars in line have gone ahead while you sit, blissfully unaware in your slumber. Two days ago, it was someone else who was dozing in her gray car while your blue car was probably stuck in traffic trying to get to the school.
Don’t beat yourself up for getting caught asleep at the actual wheel. The crossing guard is a grandma who gets it. And if you notice, no one in our carline had the heart to blow our horns at you to wake you up- a car horn sounds so rude and demanding, and we all get why you fell asleep to begin with.
We get it that you have an elementary aged child. Which means chances are, you have more than one child at home in these childbearing years we are in. Chances are, you were up with a baby for a 1:00, 3:45, and 4:37 am feeding and diaper change, only to fall asleep ten minutes before your alarm went off at 6:15 this morning. You woke up your grouchy kindergartner and rambunctious third grader and struggled to find a clean bra and your five year old’s left shoe. You thanked God for your Keurig while the baby (who decided to make this part the longest stint of sleep he had last night) woke up with poop up his back and all over his crib. Your dog got out of the backyard thanks to a sneaky seven year old, and your doorbell rang at 6:40 am with a less-than-happy neighbor, his frazzled cat, and your muddy puppy. Miraculously, y’all were in the car on time at 7:15, but you realized while you were looking at those precious backpacks walking up the sidewalk with their goodbye waves, both of their lunches were left on the kitchen counter.
I see you, Momma. Before most people’s work days start, you’ve accomplished unthinkable and insurmountable things.
I know that you fell asleep in carline today because you were determined today to sit and finally do your devotional but the warm sunshine on your face, the hum of your car running, the cool air conditioning on your face were the lullabies your body didn’t know it needed and you slipped away for a minute. I know it’s because you’re tired from worrying about your bank account and the holidays coming up. I know your day consisted of going to three stores with a screaming baby while you tried to find the underwear with the elastic band that doesn’t touch your daughter’s belly button and make her lose her crap. I know you didn’t eat lunch, but found a lone pack of gummies under the seat and scarfed them down like a ravenous wolf. I know that you argued twice with your husband through texts about what his mother said yesterday and that you just realized you have PTA tonight while he works late. You have no idea what you’re making for dinner, and you almost cried at the thought of taking those kids to the grocery store to even buy chicken nuggets and a gallon of milk.
I get it.
I get it that you fell asleep in a golden moment of solitude. A well deserved stolen slice of your day. Five minutes with Baby Einstein playing on your car’s DVD system to keep your youngest one happy and just a second to close your eyes and stop.
You are all of us.
Behind you, waiting patiently for you to wake up, are your people. All of us are moms who struggle, who cry, who pout, and who work our emotional fingers to our bones every day. We are your unnamed sisters, sitting behind you in solidarity that the evenings are the hardest parts, as we give the fragmented leftovers of ourselves to our little ones with tired smiles and grateful hearts. Truth is– we don’t blow our horns at you because your slumber is a little celebration for the rest of us. Soak it up, Momma. Dream a quick little dream.
The crossing guard will soon blow her whistle, and you’ll wipe the drool off your face and slowly pull forward. You’ll see those little faces on the sidewalk waiting for you and your heart will leap. You’ll give the best of what’s left of you to them for the next four hours and then you’ll read their bedtime stories and sing their lullabies and load your dishwasher and wash their dirty shorts and nurse the baby a thousand times.
You’ll lay down until 1 am and your day will slowly begin again.
We’ll give you the gracious space you need for your nap tomorrow, Momma. Pay it forward the day after that.
See you in carline.