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Blessings from Strangers

We were standing in line to board our plane yesterday when a woman and I gave each other the universal, motherly, "Oh, Girl, I feel you'' look.

We each were weighed down with bags and coats that did not belong to us. In addition, she was carrying a booster seat and her husband had a huge car seat in his arms.

"Do you remember,'' this stranger said to me, "when you didn't have so much stuff? Do you remember, when you'd pack an overnight bag and just go?''

"Oh, yes!'' I said. "When, it was OK if you forgot something?''

"Ahhhh. Do you remember?'' she said, savoring the memory.

"Have a good Thanksgiving,'' I said, laughing as she boarded.

A couple of hours later when we arrived at our Northern destination, I took Maria to the bathroom. In the next stall I could hear a woman telling a small child to "just try to pee pee'' and "We have a long ride, so just try!''

I laughed in my own stall. I wanted to knock on hers and say, "Hey! I say that all the time!'' And, I wanted to add: "It's gonna be OK. Really.''

These two moments remind that I really am part of a tribe. A world of women who get me, even just by looking at the amount of bags slung on my stooped shoulders, and that I can extend a little prayer of sympathy to the frustrated mom in the next stall, even if I never saw her face.

Tomorrow, we will celebrate my favorite holiday. A day of gratitude, where the gift is just your simple presence.

My gratitude list always is a long one. I'm extra grateful this season for all the moms in my life who have given me good counsel, reality checks, warm smiles, and sweet sympathy exactly when I have needed it. Family. Friends. And even strangers.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.


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