She sits across from me at a two-person table in a small local breakfast spot. We’ve ordered her pancakes and chocolate milk and we’re squeezing in a half hour of playing hooky before I take her back to school after a dental appointment.
I’ve come to realize that I truly just need to remain present in these rare times with my oldest daughter because they are few and far between. And, quite frankly, I really like her as a person.
As we chatter on about her appointment, she then realizes she needs to use the little girls room and pops up to go on her own. Before I even have a second to question her move, she says, “It’s right there, I’m good.”
And she’s right, I have a hard time acknowledging that she can handle a single-person restroom on her own without me a mere ten feet away. But, I have a hard time letting go. My anxieties, due to the cruelties I see in this world, get the better of me and I truly just miss my little cherub-cheeked love bug who used to toddle around and nuzzle into my neck.
Ok, so she still nuzzles into my neck, but the toddling days are far behind us.
When she returns, I decide another moment of independence is due when I take my break as well. I say to her, “I have to use the ladies real quick too, are you good? Don’t talk to strangers!” as I walk away.
“Mom…have I ever?” as she gives me this sarcastic, areyoukiddingme I-am-not-a-fool look.
She’s doing ok. She’s wise. She’s mindful. We’re doing ok. And, I leave her on her own at the table.
We left the restaurant hand-in-hand, both refreshed and ready to tackle the remainder of our day and I was again, reminded how lovely this kid is.
Those of you who know me well, know that ‘schedule mayhem’ is my norm. I always aspire to get my act together, but at this point, I think it might just be an endearing quality of mine.
As I walked in, I reflected on the fact that this was our fourth year at this school. A rarity in a military family’s life. I reflected on the fact that my oldest daughter was a little kindergartner walking these same halls and now she’s a thriving, chatty, lovely person.
I sat at her 4th grader-sized desk and looked down at her folder. Written in small pencil markings near her name was “I love you mom”. She knew I’d be there, so she left me a special message.
I glanced around me to see if the other kids had done that for their parents, and realized just how lucky I was to have a child who still showed love overtly in such a way. As an upper elementary school teacher at one time myself, I know we’re entering the window where these moments may be few and far between, so my heart was full at that moment.
I briefly said hello to J’s two teachers. Introduced myself, let them know that she was enjoying the start of the year thus far. I had no expectations of feedback. But, you know what I received in return? Messages that made me realize two things:
1.) She has the right teachers for her this school year.
2.) My kid is growing into a remarkable person.
I already felt this way about her, because, I’m biased, of course. But, hearing that my child is thoughtful from one teacher and eager to learn from another was truly uplifting and a reminder that she’s going to be ok no matter what. It was also a poignant reminder that teachers are intuitive and attentive and truly excited to help our kids be the best versions of themselves. Not all teachers are created equal, but I think we’re looking at a good year.
My girl has a nice balance to her personality and I’m grateful. She’s thoughtful, loving, but can also give and take some solid banter.
For example, we’re all driving home one evening from dance class and the Little Mermaid is playing on our DVD player in the ol’ Minivan and you know that part where she is in her cavern of goodies? You know, where she hugs on the statue of Prince Eric and sings…
“Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat..wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete? Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl, the girl who has…everything!”
So, around the part of the song where she belts out in her gorgeous voice, “Part of that WORLLLLD!!” I love to do it in a…let’s just say….unsavory sound to antagonize the kids a bit.
Anyone else enjoy doing this? No, just me?
So, the twins are yelling, “Mom!! Stop singing!”
And, big girl decides to support my antagonizing efforts by saying to them, “Hey, Mom can sing if she wants to…”
“Part of that, WOOOOORLDDDDDD” (voice cracking)
“Mom!” (giggle, hands on faces)
“What?! I sing BEAUTIFULLY”.
At this point, we were in the driveway and my girl comes up and says, “Mom, I was trying to support you… but don’t push it.”
She’s the best.
Do you have those moments of banter with your kids? What do you love about your kids the most right now? What are their best qualities?
**This giveaway has closed**
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