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It’s like a sixth sense I have; I can’t explain itit’s just a gift. My superpower is that I can predict what every little, old, gray-haired granny is going to say to me when I encounter her in the grocery store aisle. I’d be willing to bet my secret post-bedtime snack stash that it’s going to be a variation of one these:

“Wow, you’ve sure got your hands full!” or “You’ve got a lot of little helpers today, haven’t you?”

Now, there’s about a 90 percent chance that just reading those comments made your skin crawl. I’ve found that most moms fall into the camp of “I’m just trying to survive this grocery store run with a fraction of my sanity, please leave me alone” when it comes to conversing with strangers at the store. And I get it! I do. We’re all crazy busy and adding any amount of time to an outing with kids in tow seems like a form of parental masochism. But, there are a select few moms out there, including myself, who kind of love talking to old ladies at Target about my rugrats. 

RELATED: Dear Older and Wiser Women, We Need You

Is that weird of me? Maybe. But let me explain. It’s not that I’m lonely and seeking out grannies to adopt in the condiments aisle or anything, they just seem to gravitate to me.

It’s like I have a shining beacon on my forehead that emits come chat with me vibes to elderly folk of the female kind.

Maybe it seems to happen to me more than others because we homeschool and are often the only family with kids at the grocery store when most other families are at work or in class. In any case, when I round that corner and see Betsy or Agatha lock eyes with my toddler, it’s game on. I don’t try to avert my gaze or pretend to search for the most elusive cereal box known to mankind. No, I smile warmly and receive their comments with joy. 

Here’s the thing, I think my kids are pretty freakin’ cute and fun, and when I meet others who think so too, I love sharing that happiness with them. I’m the mom who spends the quiet hours after my kids go to bed scrolling through pictures of our day, missing them even though they were just driving me crazy 30 minutes ago. I call my Nana four times a day just to relay a precious quip my 5-year-old said because I think my kids are so sweet I can’t keep it to myself. So, if someone else wants to revel in their adorableness with me, even if just for a moment, I say the more the merrier! 

I enjoy receiving sage snippets of advice.

Who better to learn from than someone who has decades of mothering experience under her belt?

I see my future self in their smiling eyes as they compliment my girls’ flaxen curls, knowing that one day when my kids are all grown and off living their own lives, I’ll probably yearn to interact with a precious toddler in the grocery aisle just like they do. Maybe their grandkids live several states away, or maybe they just don’t have any of their own to dote on, so if it brightens their day to let me know how blessed I am and to remind me to “savor these moments,” then I’m grateful for it. 

RELATED: To the Little Old Ladies: Yes, We Still Need You

I’m not saying I want every Tom, Dick, and Harry at Walmart to chip in their two cents on my parenting or kids, no. I can do without the snide looks from those who think we’re a little too, ahem, vocal, or a side-eye from the old man who spouts off “those kids should be in school” without knowing a thing about our family’s dynamics. But, a little pleasant banter with a seasoned matriarch who is ready to encourage and appreciate us is almost always welcomed.

So next time you sense an older lady is about to comment on how busy and blessed you are, consider fighting the urge to show off your Supermarket Sweep-worthy cart-jogging skills and give just a few moments of your time to share the joy of your family with someone who recognizes a blessed mama when she sees one. 

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Lyndsay Zadnik

Lyndsay is a homeschooling mom to four young children and a frequent recipient of the quip: “Wow, you’ve sure got your hands full!" She moved from California to Oklahoma in late 2021 and spends most of her free time exploring every nook and cranny of her new state with her husband and kids. You can often find her curled up under a heated blanket with a book, or being active outside with her family. 

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