Starbucks Tears

by MARIA on November 28, 2010

Yesterday, I almost cried in the Starbucks bathroom.

I know it sounds odd.

But I experienced a moment – one of those that come at you out of nowhere, where you realize just how precious life is.

I was with my four year old, who needed to do some business. As we were coming out of the stall, the larger stall door opened with an elderly woman in a wheelchair, pushed by two women, who I assume were her daughters.

I couldn’t help but watch their reflection in the mirror – they were so loving and gentle with her. They pushed her up to the sink, and pulled up her sleeves, just as I did the same with my daughter.  Almost simultaneously, we helped them with the soap and used our hands to wash theirs. My eyes briefly met her daughters’ eyes in the mirror and we shared a moment – for me, a moment of realization that what they were doing for their mom, and I for my daughter, was all that life is – all that matters.

What I was sharing with my daughter, was a moment that mom must have shared many years before with hers, and now their roles had reversed. Instantly, I saw myself in that mother and her daughters – and it was a very humbling, emotional moment.

In the bathroom.

At Starbucks.

Motherhood can be such an unexpected ride sometimes.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 neena November 28, 2010 at 7:22 pm

what a precious moment!


2 Kirsten (Results Not Typical Girl) November 28, 2010 at 7:22 pm

i would never do that at starbucks.

i don’t drink coffee.

i’m more of a target and movie-theater bathroom kind of sentimental cornball.

(love this!)


3 Nadja November 28, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Oh. Oh. Oh. That gets me all choked up and tight in the heart parts.


4 Bill Corbett November 28, 2010 at 7:33 pm

What an awesome moment you captured. You had my eyes welling up. Thank you for your post!


5 Sue Robinson November 28, 2010 at 7:41 pm

I have chills…


6 Rebecca Hession November 28, 2010 at 7:41 pm



7 tattytiara November 28, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Love is so beautifully expressed in these little care taking moments.


8 Vicky November 28, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Life goes by so quickly doesn’t it. We’ll close our eyes for a minute and open them to see our children grown. That was so beautiful, thanks for sharing your moment.


9 ModernMom November 28, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Ummm Kleenex warning would have been nice. What a powerful post. I feel like I should go call my Mama now:)


10 Brittany at Mommy Words November 28, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Life is Beautiful…

It is amazing to see the circle…

I would have cried in the bathroom too.


11 Tricia November 28, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Oh Maria…this made me do the ugly cry. This is one of the most beautiful posts you’ve ever written. Exquisite.


12 Diana, The Doggy Mommy November 29, 2010 at 2:29 am

Love this post. I am on the other side, where my parents are old and I am taking care of them. It is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. Sadly I get angry and mad at them often. I so want them back. They are supposed to take care of me. :( It breaks my heart beyond belief, I want my Mommy, I want my Daddy. But they are gone. It sucks, big time, but we must give back and try to make a dent in what they did for us.


13 Allison @ Alli 'n Son November 29, 2010 at 6:20 am

Don’t you just love when moments like that catch you off guard? Beautiful post.


14 blueviolet November 29, 2010 at 6:53 am

Since our country in general finds the elderly more of a bother than a treasure, moments like these are truly precious. :)


15 Loukia November 29, 2010 at 10:17 am

Maria, this post made me cry, because I totally understand this feeling you are talking about. I get so emotional sometimes, and something as simple as what you described can be so moving and so powerful. Being a mom is the most incredible thing ever.


16 Sarah Carmichael November 29, 2010 at 10:32 am

Beautiful moment. I love this.


17 Jen A Busy Mommy November 29, 2010 at 11:09 am

Tears. OMGosh what a beautiful moment in time. It really is amazing how these parenting moments sneak right up on us. Thanks for sharing this.


18 Melisa November 29, 2010 at 3:16 pm

What a moment and such insight. It also reminded me of an opposite moment my husband and I caught at a restaurant a week or so ago. It was an elderly woman and her daughter or DIL and granddaughter. The way she was spoken to and yelled at was abhorrent…


19 Alicia November 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Wow. Crying now….great post!!!


20 Pres. Kathy November 29, 2010 at 6:42 pm

This totally made me cry! What a beautiful thing you saw.


21 Elaine November 30, 2010 at 12:31 am

I was picturing myself in that bathroom in your position and started to tear up. Motherhood is a crazy ride but then so is life. Wow.

Thanks for sharing your moment with us.. .


22 Multi-Testing Mommy November 30, 2010 at 6:34 am

That was a very sweet and moving post to read first thing this morning (as my coffee brews), thank you for sharing this with me! :)


23 Cheryl November 30, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Beautiful. Thank you.


24 Shannon @ AnchorMommy December 2, 2010 at 12:27 am


I’ve thought about such role reversals recently, as I’ve thought about my parents and in-laws and how they’re aging. It’s a little sad to think about how different things might be in decade or so.

What beautiful moment–thanks for sharing. :-)


25 Kameron December 2, 2010 at 7:46 pm

That is so sweet and so true. It seems like we all start out in life being helpless and then come full circle and rely on others to take care of us again. I only wish I still had my mom to take care of.


26 Tiffany @MomNom December 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm

The beautiful circle of life. Great post. XOXO


27 Vera @ Lady and the Blog December 13, 2010 at 12:46 pm

oh man – you got me.

so beautiful. and so true.


28 Steph B August 8, 2011 at 11:14 pm

It’s incredible how the role turns around. I saw my mom and my aunt take care of my Nana (groceries, cleaning, doctor’s appts), and just let her relax and enjoy life. It really was amazing that they did that.

I hope my kids are just has loving and amazing to me when I age.


29 Food Stories April 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I’ve had moments like that before and sometimes they’re at the oddest times and places … Happy Earth Day!


30 Lisa KH March 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm

This brought tears to my eyes too. Thanks for sharing. :)


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