December 30, 2023 by Molly Patrick

This was captivating, I couldn't take my eyes off it

I witnessed a beautiful moment at the farmers market last weekend.

There was a mom pushing a baby in a stroller as her other kid, probably about 5, walked alongside her with a package of mochi in his hand, a yummy Japanese dessert made from rice flour. This kid was having a hard time because he wanted to eat the mochi, but his mom would not let him have it until later. As a result, he was crying, stomping his feet, and displaying his frustration of wanting something he wasn’t allowed to have. He refused to put the mochi down.

Then, something magical happened, and I was captivated.

Without making a sound, the mom stopped in her tracks. She stood tall and waited. As soon as the kid noticed she wasn’t next to him, he turned around and went back to her, crying and stomping all the way.

Keeping her posture impressively tall and straight, the mom looked at her kid and said with confidence, “Take three deep breaths.”
The kid kept crying and squirming and whining. The mom waited, silent.
After a few moments, she said again, “Take three deep breaths.”
He fussed and stomped, but the tears started to let up.
The mom, just as calm as the first time, said, “Take three deep breaths. I’ll take them with you.”

She looked ahead, spine straight, and took three deep breaths as her son followed her lead. The breaths weren’t rushed. She wasn’t trying to speed things up. She took her time. After they both had taken three deep breaths, she looked at her son and said, “Put the mochi down.” He wiped his eyes dry and like magic, set the delicious dessert on top of the stroller. She waited for a moment and then took his small hand in hers and bent down to kiss it. She stood up, waited a few more moments, and continued walking. Her son walked next to her, calm and without a fuss.

I was amazed at what I had just witnessed. It was the most beautiful act of parenting I had ever seen. That mom held space for her son while being present, strong, and in control.
She was confident and did not react.
She was not impatient or upset.
She did not scold her kid or try to bargain with him.
She helped him get through a challenging moment while staying in the vibration of unconditional love.

As they walked away, hand in hand, I thanked the universe for showing this to me. I don’t have kids, so I can’t put this brilliant technique into practice with a child, but after a certain age, we all must parent ourselves. And so.

I can remind myself to breathe when things get tough.
I can be present and patient with myself.
I can be strong and tender at the same time.
I can pause and regroup.
I can respond instead of react.
I can command something different with grace.
I can stand tall.
I can love myself no matter what.

This year has been a tough one for me and Clean Food Dirty Girl, so I was happy for the reminders. I talk about my struggles in my latest podcast episode, which is also my last episode for a while. You can listen to it here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Have a good weekend my friend, may you ring in the new year by honoring yourself with confidence, grace, strength, and unconditional love.


Get the weekly Sweary Saturday Love Letter like what you've read above

Written by ex-boozer and ex-smoker, Molly Patrick that will help you eat more plants while throwing perfection down the garbage disposal.


Not for those offended by the F word.