• 75°

Ann Farabee — How does she do it?


By Ann Farabee
For the Salisbury Post

Another trip to the grocery store. I should be awarded a prize as Food Lion’s best customer.

As always, I was dressed appropriately for swift and effective shopping — stretchy pants, comfy shirt, sneakers.

While loading my groceries into the car, I saw her. The perfectly dressed young mom — perfect makeup, perfect hair, and wearing heels.

There she was — the inspiration for my column.

As she stopped to look both ways prior to crossing the street to the parking lot, her four neatly dressed young children, stopped obediently. Two were on one side of her. Two were on the other side. Each was carrying two grocery bags — one in each hand. They looked both ways and then toward mom before crossing. Once reaching the car, they lined up to put their grocery bags in the trunk.

As I was loading my groceries in my car, I said aloud to myself, “She is perfect. How does she do it?”

I shook my head, thinking about my years as a mom of young children, my years as a mom of older children, my years as a mom of grown children. My years of juggling a work schedule and motherhood. As I watched Perfect Mom, that ugly voice in my head — the one I need to ignore — said to me, “Failure.”

It stung.

As I was pushing my shopping cart a little more forcefully than usual to its proper location, I heard a real voice — not the one in my head — call out my name, “Mrs. Farabee!”

It was her — Perfect Mom — calling out my name. She told me who she was, and then turned to her children and said, “This was my favorite teacher!”

It was one of the nicest introductions I could ever have received.

I confessed to her that I had seen her crossing the street with her children, had not recognized her, and wondered aloud, “How does she do it?”

Perfect Mom smiled and responded perfectly, “Your children were young when you were my teacher. How did you do it?”

I started to remember: School. Church. Baseball. Basketball. Football. Gymnastics. Dance. Homework. Grocery store trips. Taxi service. Well, not officially a taxi service, but it often felt like it.

Some days if everyone got dressed, had food, and brushed their teeth — that was enough.

Some days if our efforts to parent allowed us to see God breaking through to their hearts — it was way better than enough.

Hmm… now that I think about it, I guess I did do it.
Mother of the Year material — I think not.
My weaknesses made strong through Christ? Definitely so.
I did my best — and trusted God to do the rest.
There is no way to be a perfect mom — but a million ways to be a good one.

As I headed back to my car, Perfect Mom called out, “Thank you for everything. You’re the best!” I smiled and thought, “Not failure. Just the opposite. Success.”

Disclaimer: I still have no explanation for the night I took one of my children home after a basketball game and left the other behind. Hey — I said I wasn’t perfect.

But…this has been comforting to know: According to Luke 2:43, Mary and Joseph returned home from the festival, and did not even notice they had left Jesus behind.



Summer baseball: Rowan County Seniors NC3 schedule


Greg Edds: Recommit to respect, common decency in Rowan County


UPDATE: Suspect sought after janitor was shot at Bendix Drive hotel


New zip code in county sees COVID-19 cases with more than 300 new tests reported


‘I can’t breathe’: More than 100 protesters participate in downtown ‘lie-in’


Eight shootings in three days: Kannapolis Police ask for public’s help


Blotter: June 6


Michael Jordan giving $100 million for racial equality, justice


Demonstrators vow to sustain momentum until change happens


Gov. Cooper vetoes bill to let N.C. bars serve patrons again


Windows send a message: Fish Bowl writes names of police brutality victims on storefront


Missing Salisbury teen found in Atlanta with registered sex offender


Man charged with damaging Salisbury Post window arrested, charged


‘Message of unity’: Protesters dress in ‘Sunday best’ to honor George Floyd


Wallace Cancer Institute gets new linear accelerator


Charles Jeter: Still a Republican, no longer believe in president

China Grove

Blotter: China Grove man arrested on breaking and entering, felony drug charges


Cal Thomas: Unusual conversation between radio hosts


China Grove cancels Farmers Day because of COVID-19


Editorial: Continue to follow health guidelines on coronavirus


Sports briefs: Former West basketball player killed in accident


One additional new COVID-19 case in veterans home; average age of positive cases drops


Legislators aim to reopen gyms over governor’s order


SPD: Officers weren’t ordered to protect ‘Fame’