A Mother’s Badge of Honor
This morning at the supermarket, as I headed over to take a shopping cart, I noticed another woman heading ahead of me into the supermarket.
She was taller than me, but at least ten years younger in a long flowing skirt and headscarf. My wild guess? She lives on a yishuv outside of Jerusalem and is a nursery-school teacher. Wednesday is her day off, and she came into Jerusalem to stock up at a discount supermarket and get a head start on Shabbat cooking.
And then I noticed it…
A smiley sticker stuck on the back of her skirt, close to the bottom.
I smiled back at the sticker.
I caught up with the woman and told her she had a sticker on the back of her skirt. Would she like me to take it off for her?
“Yes, thank you…” she responded.
After I peeled off the sticker and showed it to her, I said, “You can see that you are a mother! Your children are not here, but you can still tell!”
We both laughed, and continued shopping. Enjoying a few hours of quiet and focused productivity before pick-up time.
And my mind wandered to badges of honor…
For the general public, a badge of honor looks like this:
But for a mom, a badge of honor looks different.
It can look like a stroller which is past its prime.
Or a shirt sleeve splattered with dried on spaghetti sauce from lunch.
Or a trail of burped-up spit up running down your back
And sometimes, like this morning, a mother’s badge of honor looks like this: