Today, while we were leaving the mall, a normal scene of baby love presented itself.
Women pouring themselves over a newborn.
Swooning, oohing, awwing, and drooling over the chubby hands, precious coos, and endless charm that a new infant has.
The sweet smells, tiny clothing, and perfect nose.
The innocent cries.
As we got closer we could see that the group was a bunch of teenage girls and the infants mother was one of their friends.
She smiled with pride.
And through her smile I saw exhaustion, tired swaying hips, pulled back hair, and a longing to be with her friends.
Long after they had walked away she stared after them.
After collecting our mountain of bags, sippy cups, and balloons we headed to the parking lot where the girls that had been drowning in baby were gathered in the smoking area.
Their squeals and smoke filled the air.
Teenage shrieks competing with one another to be heard.
All on the topic of one thing.
How cute was that baby?
How fun would it be to have a baby?
Wouldn’t it be great to dress up a baby and take it to the mall?
I thought back to the young mother in the mall, her eyes lowering as she watched her friends walk away.
Their excitement for her bouncing off of the storefronts. The plans for their own babies ringing through the shopping mall.
Her tired smile, strong and confident.
Her sweet tenderness as she held her tiny baby and rocked her softly.
Leaving her friends to be teenagers and proudly becoming a mom.