Monday, April 8, 2013
Regrets, I have a few.
This morning I was impatient. I didn't yell or lose my temper, but I was crabby. Crabby in an embittered martyr kind of way (which is definitely the worst kind). It all started when I gave E a few minutes to play when she woke up, hoping that she would then be so appreciative that she would quickly and efficiently get ready for school. Snort.
She wanted to have exactly the same breakfast as I was having. I was having a smoothie. She didn't want that. So I sat with her while she ate her breakfast and made my smoothie later. Seemed like a good compromise.
She wanted me to read her Chirp magazine to her after I had already sat with her for ten minutes and had just gotten up to make her lunch.
She wanted me to read a chapter of The Little Prince as I was going upstairs to put on my makeup.
She wanted to pick out a tattoo to wear to school as I was brushing her teeth.
And, when we were all finally mostly ready and at the front door, when I was getting on my own boots and begging her to put on her rain pants, she began rifling through the bags of craft supplies I came home with yesterday, picking out all the pretty pastel eggs and spreading them out over the dining room table, asking if we could make an Easter wreath when we get home.
Of course we can. That's why I bought them. And how awesome is it that she is excited about doing it? But that's not what I said, because I'm a jerk.
Instead I complained about how I'll have to clean up all the stuff she's taking out of the bags when she inevitable comes home and announces that she no longer has any interest in making an Easter wreath. Something about how frustrating it is when she continually asks me to do things when she knows that we don't have a lot of time in the mornings. Blah, blah, blah, crappy attitude. Mine, that is.
Her response was exactly what I deserved. She sat on the step, looking sad, no doubt feeling badly that mom was frustrated. Again. I told her at least five times on the way to school that she hadn't done anything wrong and I am often stressed out in the morning trying to remember everything and that I shouldn't have gotten impatient with her. I told her that I was super excited to make an Easter wreath with her, and that it made me really happy that she was excited about it too. She said "I'm just trying to make your life happier by making an Easter wreath with you." Ouch.
When we got to school I saw the little boy in her class whose father died last month, sitting outside the classroom with big, sad eyes.
At the grocery store there was a mom with her two boys and she was constantly touching them, playing with them, smiling.
In the mailbox there was a card from my friend who is fighting a terrible battle with cancer, thanking me for being there for her.
All reminders to stop getting caught up in the small stuff. Enjoy more. Let go more.
I'm writing this down because I want to remember it, and because I want E to read this one day. I'm sorry babe. I'm sorry for putting sadness into those eyes that were wide with excitement. I'm sorry for not sharing your enthusiasm, and for caring more about getting you to school on time than enjoying a spontaneous moment with you. I hope that by the time you read this, memories like this one are completely overshadowed by the ones when I decided to have what you were having for breakfast, I read just one quick page of your Chirp magazine, and stopped to show you all of the fun stuff I bought for us, so that you could think about it while you were at school and look forward to coming home to create with me. It would have made us about seven minutes late for school today. And it would have been totally worth it.