God Bless The Sweet Waitress at Cracker Barrel

God bless the waitress at Cracker Barrel…
Tonight we tried to go to IHOP for 59cent short stacks for IHOP’s 59th birthday. They were, of course, slammed. Brandon made the executive decision that we would not be dining at IHOP tonight and that instead we would go to Cracker Barrel and use the gift card we had. The boys were starving and the baby was tired and lucky for us, the food took a little longer tonight.

Out of desperation for keeping the peace and trying to maintain a shred of dignity, I made up a game on the fly “if you had to choose.” We chose between French fries and tater tots, chocolate and vanilla, blue or green, cupcakes or donuts, and the list goes on. My mind went as quick as it could trying to think up new categories to keep my 6yo and 3yo enthralled, because, boy were they fast with their answers! Then dinner finally arrived, I nursed the baby discreetly while cutting pancakes and gave half my dinner away to hungry little boys whose tummies wanted more than what we’d ordered them.

All was well for about 8 minutes. Then the baby wanted her bed – NOW – and the syrup was kicking in. Maverick dropped his water cup and the bacon and the pancakes and the biscuits were gone.

Brandon went to go pay the bill and I stood up to bounce the baby in one arm and gather our belongings. As I juggled the diaper bag and the car seat carrier and the baby and grasped for Maverick’s hand, a waitress stopped by our table and touched my elbow. She said “You’re doing a great job mama” and I laughed (so I wouldn’t cry) and said “oh so you saw us huh?” feeling the blush creep up my neck. And she said, “Everybody did baby, and we’ve all been watching how you handled tonight like a champ. It seems hard and overwhelming, but you’re doing a really good job. Have a good night hun.”

Can you believe she said that to me? I could hardly believe it. I mean, I have 2 strong willed little boys – one who can’t hear (literally… we have a follow up with ENT next week to see if he can pass his hearing test now after being on meds for a month or if he needs tubes again) – and one who thinks he knows it all (I have no idea where he got that from), and an overtired little babe. I had avoided looking at other patrons because I was certain their judging eyes would look disapprovingly at us for all the ruckus and here this sweet waitress was telling me that we were doing a good job.

Wow.

One of my coworkers told me today that I would survive, that it would seem as though we wouldn’t, but that we would. That the days seem long but the years are short.

I am exhausted, to say the least. Up at least 3 times a night with Bridges, working 40 hours a week and can barely keep groceries in the house and clean laundry folded. Yet God used several people today to encourage me and I kept thinking about how He knows the names of the sparrows. I wasn’t even particularly frustrated or even the most overwhelmed I’ve ever been, but boy am I tired. I almost cried right there in Cracker Barrel when He used a waitress to pat me on the back and speak life into me.

I don’t have it all together, and my house is definitely “lived in”, but I felt my spirits lift tonight hearing those sweet words “good job, mama.”

To the waitress who encouraged me tonight, thank you for your kind words. I hope you are blessed tenfold, and I hope I remember you when I see a tired, overwhelmed mama out to dinner in the future. Thank you, sweet waitress from Cracker Barrel, thank you.