I heard the best message today as I walked the Rail Trail. It wasn’t a podcast. 

It was the chatter of two little brothers, three and six, riding their bikes alongside their mom. 

“Have a great day!” the 3-year-old shouted as we passed. 

So, of course, I stopped and turned around. Who wouldn’t? 

“You’re doing really great on those bikes!”

“Well, it’s my first time on a two-wheeler,” bragged the 3-year-old. 

“And you know what? I lost my tooth today in school,” his older brother quickly chimed in. 

“It’s my second one, and it fell off right in my mask, and I didn’t even have to pull it. See? There’s one more wiggly one, too.” 

“You sure are keeping the tooth fairy busy,” I winked at their mom. 

RELATED: Dear Young Moms, You Are Doing Great

“Have a great day!” they yelled again in unison as I walked ahead. 

I felt so much lighter in spirit and in step after that simple, one-minute exchange.

But it was on the way back when we bumped into them a second time that I was most blessed. 

The tiny one waved at Bill and me like we were their long-awaited relatives, there for a family reunion of sorts.

I guess in a way we were. 

I pulled the mom aside to share. 

“I know you’ve had lots of anxious moments these days, but you need to know this. You are doing a great job. A really great job. Your boys are so happy. 
And seeing you today has brought me such joy.”

Tearfully, she just nodded and softly whispered, “Thank you.” 

Tearfully, I just nodded and whispered back, “No, thank YOU.”

It was a moment of mutual mom understanding. And I’ve never wanted to hug a stranger so badly.

Dear full-nester friends, keep on doing what you’re doing.

In a scary, hard-to-grasp world, you are providing more stability and normalcy than you could ever imagine. 

RELATED: A Mother’s Mind Never Rests, Because We Carry The Mental Load

We know you’re beyond exhausted, mentally and physically. But we also know this. Brighter days are ahead. And your kids, the next greatest generation, were born for such a time as this. They’re strong and resilient. And compassionate and adaptable. 

And most importantly, they know how to find the magic and delight of living in the present. 

They know how to “have a good day,” and they’re the best medicine for healing our fragile souls . . . especially us empty nesters! We love you!

Susan Oldham

Susan Oldham lives in SC and after retiring from corporate consulting, started a second career in connections ministry. She is an “empty nester” with three adult children and three grandchildren. Moms, especially “full nester” ones during COVID,  are her heart tug. Hula dancing is her new hobby.