One of the best compliments I've ever been given

One of the best compliments I've ever been given

Estimated read time: 5-6 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — The other day while out with the kiddos I got myself into a little predicament, which isn’t too unusual for me.

We were out running errands and I promised them we could go to the park afterward. When we finally made it there I found my 2-year-old daugther had zonked out in her car seat.

I got out of the car and went around to my 4-year-old son's side to unbuckle and let him out first, and found he’d had a small potty accident during our much longer than usual en route (don't worry, just a little No. 1). So I lifted him out, carried him around to the back of our SUV and popped open the trunk door, which I’ve found is a much easier place to do changes than anywhere else in the car.

The back row of seats was out altogether, due to moving some things a few days before, so there was plenty of room for him to change. I told him the coast was clear, no one was looking, and to quickly put on the fresh pair of underwear I luckily had with me.

But he was embarrassed. "Just close the door, Mommy, and come in here with me. I need my privacy."

...once we were done I began searching for the handle to open to door to get us out. Then, I realized there wasn’t one! It’s the inside of the rear door, so of course there wasn’t.

Well, there was plenty of room back there, so I decided why not? I pulled myself up and into the car and pulled the back door shut.

We got him changed and once we were done I began searching for the handle to open to door to get us out. Then, I realized there wasn’t one! It’s the inside of the rear door, so of course there wasn’t.

"Dang it, there's no way to get out of here," I said, with I'm sure a bit of frustration in my voice. Understand I was squatted down, all crouched up back there, which was starting to get quite hot as it was a warm, sunny day, so it wasn't the most ideal of circumstances.

I looked at my son and noticed his eyes were wide and beginning to fill with concern, and quickly realized I didn't want to worry him over our small predicament, so I quickly added, "But it's no problem. I can just slide over the seat and get the door open."

"OK, do it, Mommy!" he said with enthusiasm, looking both relieved and a bit entertained.

Not wanting to wake my sleeping 2-year-old (who really needed the nap), I tried to quietly heave myself over the middle row of seats as gracefully as possible — which wasn't very — but luckily she was out like a rock.

Once over, I found myself tightly pinned between my kids' two car seats. After a moment of regrouping, I leaned over my son's empty car seat, outstretched my right arm and pulled on the door handle. Tug, nothing. Another tug, nothing again.


"Oh no, please tell me I didn't lock us in!?"

"Locked in?" he panicked from behind me.

"Wait a sec..." I said, my eyes darting to the front seats. Then, in a moment of triumph, I saw my purse sitting on the passenger seat in all its brilliance, and realized that no, I hadn't locked us in! Of course, the child lock was simply on. Phew.

"We're fine, bud!" I called over my shoulder. Then I turned my head back to see his reaction and quickly realized he was living every moment with me with his face all but about two inches away from mine, eyes burrowing into the side of my head.

"OK, glad to know he is interested, and watching, very closely," I thought.

"All right, looks like I’m going to have to climb over the console to my seat to get us out of here," I said to him with a sigh.

And here it comes. In my mind, one of the best compliments a mom could get, ever.

"You can do it, Mommy," my little boy said with confidence. Then, in an almost awe-like tone, he said, "Mommies can do anything."

"You can do it, Mommy," my little boy said with confidence. Then, in an almost awe-like tone, he said, "Mommies can do anything."

I don’t know if it was the words he said or the sincerity of the way he said it that got me, but it stopped me in the middle of my predicament. I froze for a moment, taking in his words. I was touched. I think my eyes might have even welled up a little.

"Thanks, bud."

Then, I began having all these images flash through my mind of all the amazing moms I know: The mom who is up all night with her newborn trying to chase away colic; the mom who tirelessly runs her kids every which way from carpool to soccer practice to dance lessons; the mom who patiently (or not so patiently) resists her toddler throwing a tantrum for candy in the checkout line at the grocery store; or the mom who stays up late, night after night, helping her child who struggles in school with homework. And these are just a few examples of moms with younger kids, but how about all those moms of teenagers, young adults and even the moms of us moms?

Then I looked back at him and said, "You're right, mommies can do anything."

And with a little more gumption this time around, I hurled myself over my second seat in the last two minutes, and before I knew it, was back in my usual spot in the driver's seat. Then I smoothed over my shirt, put my sunglasses back on and, as composedly as possible, took a step out of my SUV — as if I hadn't just been frantically somersaulting all over my car.

I walked around to my son’s door for the second time, got him out and then scooped my daughter out from her side. Then, with one hand holding my boy’s and the other resting on my sleeping baby slung over my shoulder, we made our way to the playground.

And as we walked I thought, "Mommies can do anything — that has to be one of the best compliments I’ve ever been given."


Main image: At the park that day (Photo: Lindsay Ferguson)

Lindsay Ferguson is a Communication graduate from University of Utah. She is a wife and mother of two young children. She writes from home and keeps up a blog at

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