I saw you.
Or rather, I didn’t see you as much as I saw your bright tattoos, your many piercings, and your vibrant-colored hair. I saw them across the school yard as we both dropped our children off for the day.
And in that moment, I decided we were different.
But then, I saw something else. I saw the way your face lit up as your little boy tilted his face towards yours for a sweet good-bye kiss. And I saw you throw back your head and laugh, and gather him in close to you for a final hug before sending him off to his classroom.
That’s when I really saw you.
And that’s when I realized we were the same.
So Mom-Who-Looks-Different-Than-Me, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for judging you. For making assumptions. For thinking that good mothering can be discerned by one’s outward appearance.
For believing, for just one second, that I was better than you.
I don’t know your story. Maybe you make different choices than me. Maybe the evidence of your wild years is simply more visible than mine.
Or maybe, you are just far more courageous than me and feel the freedom to live life with abandon, closer to your authentic self, without regard for what others think of you.
Others like me.
But today I realize we aren’t others. We are the same. We are moms. And by the love that you show your child, I can tell – you’re a good one.
Thank you for teaching me that today.