Mary, the granddaughters, James and I were off to Wonderscope, a children's museum housed in a former school and actually designed for kids. It was great! Annalyn and Gracie could climb, build, touch, create, all under the auspices of vigilant, caring family members.
And there they were, the "Tot & Tote" crowd! Mostly moms, but some aunties, grandmas, even a few dads watching their precious cargo and carrying their badges of honor, totes.
When my kids were small, we called them "diaper bags". Not so anymore. "Tote" seems to be the pc term for that irreplaceable survival bag. I discovered this when Mary was pregnant with Annalyn and she wanted to make sure the baby's bag was suitable for Mark to carry (Army green with NO cute designs).
There was a song about moms a few years ago with a line that said something like, "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." One look at these women, confident in their work, nurturing of their young, and supportive of their peers, made me realize how true the lyric is.
I also began to wonder about the other "badges" we wear. Merriam-Webster Dictionary says a badge is used to identify a person, or "an emblem awarded for a particular accomplishment". Yep, sounds like a tote to me! It identifies a person as a caregiver, a nurturing, responsible person who puts the needs of others before her own. Those willing to accept the challenges of carrying the tote definitely merit awards in my book.
I'm pretty familiar with badges. From earliest memory, I can see Mama sewing the requisite badges on Daddy's Army uniform. Being a Boy Scout and Camp Fire family, I've earned, worn and sewn plenty of badges for Tom, the kids and me. Our badges tell others a lot about us, don't they?
But what about the invisible badges? You know, like the ones that mark educators from a mile away. It seems like we all have some kinds of badges. Whether it's a mom tote or a military emblem or a scout award or some seemingly invisible marking, we wear our stories on our badges.
What badges do you wear or carry with you everywhere? What kinds of badges have you noticed on others? What works for me is to focus not only on the badges, but to try and look beyond to the person wearing them.
I'm linking this post to Giving Up on Perfect and Coffee for Your Heart.
16 I drew a picture of you on my hand.
You are always before my eyes.[a]
17 Your children will come back to you,
and those who destroyed you will leave.
18 Look up! Look all around you!
All of your children are gathering together and coming to you.”
The Lord says, “On my life, I promise you this:
Your children will be like jewels that you tie around your neck.
Your children will be like the necklace that a bride wears.