The woman standing behind Stephanie Labile in line at Costco had no idea that she and her baby had spent the last week in the hospital and that today was their first day out. All she saw was a mom shopping for her family while wearing a baby, pushing another child in an adaptive stroller, and pulling a filled shopping cart all at the same time.
For this stranger, Stephanie's outing wasn't just unusual, it was impressive and deserved to be acknowledged. "She approached me in the checkout lane and told me that she was very proud of me. She told me that nowadays many women hire a babysitter to watch the kids so that they can shop in peace, or complain the whole time they're in the grocery store with their kids," Stephanie wrote on Instagram. "She told me that I was doing a great job and that she admired me."
This kind observation and recognition brought tears to Stephanie's eyes because it was exactly what she needed to hear after such a difficult week. "I was grateful to be able to spend time with my girls outside of the hospital," she wrote. "To feel like I was doing something besides sitting in a room isolated."
Although the thought of shopping at Costco with two little ones and a long grocery list may be some parents' worst nightmare, for Stephanie it was exactly what she needed.