Today as I was rushing to get my kids to gymnastics on time, I realized that my cell phone was buzzing with some important intrusion into my life. I impatiently reached across the passenger seat, stuffed my hand in my purse and began the aimless tossing of its contents blindly. To my delight, instead of finding my cell phone, I found a hand full of chocolates at the bottom of my purse. Without a second thought I slammed those puppies back like the last beer at happy hour.

I was instantly happy. I felt a little unsanitary and piggish but I couldn’t help reaching back in to find yet another handful, and then another and then one more. Oh, how my day took a turn for the better. Those beautiful, multicolored chocolate darlings. My children were riding along talking to each other and were unaware that I had found such a treasure. I am ashamed to say that I made every effort to not have to share one single bite with them.

It was a busy day. Not to be confused with a bad day. If there were an official quota for the amount of mothering required for one day, at four in the afternoon, my time card should have been stamped. I was not overly tired. I had my coffee that morning with a few exceptional women. I was not frustrated with my kids. They were relatively well-behaved. I was, however, a mother who chose errands over more time with a friend, vacuuming over eating lunch, an important business email over resting and making dinner over eating out.

All of these are normal choices for a mother. It is what we do, without complaint, all of the time….well, sometimes we complain about it. Even on the easiest of days, mothering three human beings is an excruciatingly difficult job. I won’t bore you with stories that seem to herald from The Motherhood, or What To Expect When Your Expecting, or Jon and Kate Plus Eight. I am sure you have heard of the vomit, poopie, finger painting, cuddling mess that results from caring for young children.

Through the chaos; I find that it is the small surprises that redeem my hectic days.

It’s the dear friend who rocks my baby while I finish a much-needed frivolous conversation. A husband, who calls me cute as he kisses me on my way out the door. My child, in the quietest, curious moment, caught making my bed to make me “happy at him”. It’s an unknown woman at the grocery store who, after viewing me single-handedly diffusing the temper tantrum that could possibly have tipped off World War III, takes it upon herself to grace me with the words, “You are doing a great job”.

Every girl needs a bit of chocolate at the bottom of her purse.

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