She was our waitress, the kindest waitress you will ever meet.
She interacted with my little guy for a while and then turned to me, “My son is eight. . . He is still living in the Philipines with my parents.”
I realized in that moment the utter triviality of my “First World Problems.”
We spoke more and I soon learned she is hoping to be able to send for him in a year or two, if she can raise enough funds. In the meantime she is sending money home for both him and her parents.
First World Problem: I am stressed and embarrassed because my kids are screaming in the store.
Her son lives another world away. They talk every day, and he often asks her, “Mommy when are you going to come get me?”
First World Problem: The laundry looks like Everest and my children just colored all over the wall.
She smiled at me, but I could see the deep sorrow in her eyes. She smiled at me, but I can only imagine the nights she cries, wishing with everything in her to be cuddling once more with her sweet boy. To feel his touch, smell his scent.
First World Problem: My coffee maker broke and my son just spilled his milk all over the floor.
She continues on, so he can live a better life. Her precious boy, her only son, the reason she lives and breathes: she works so hard, desperate to give him the world.
First World Problem: I had a long day, I am really tired, and I have not had any “me time.”
Her “me time” is frequent. How she longs for no more “me time.” How she looks with desperation to the day of togetherness with her dear boy once more.
First World Problem: I am not as pretty, as accomplished, as successful as that other mom.
Chances are, her life will never be as easy as mine. She will work hard for the remainder of her days, and yet she does so with a grateful heart. No demands, no I deserve, no bad attitude, and you owe me escapes her lips. She is grateful for the opportunity she has to be here, to help her precious family and dear son.
First World Problem: I am eating peanut butter and jelly with my kids because I was too busy to cook.
My children are here with me. My first world problems are just that: First World. How pitiful I can be. How selfish. . .
Eat your peanut butter sandwich and smile, foolish girl. Go jump in the pile of laundry and throw some towels to begin soaking up the milk. Take an outing to Starbucks and bring your latte to the park. Watch your babies run and laugh and relish each and every moment of it.
I pray often for this precious soul, that all her dreams may come true.
In truth though, in our short dinner, she taught me more than I will ever be able to thank her for. I pray her face will never leave my vision, for she has burned in me a realization of how very fortunate I am.
No more complaints from this momma.