That moment (6:45 a.m., to be exact) when you start looking for your kid’s shoes and remember where they are. On the porch. In the rain. And he only owns one pair. Major mommy fail.
In that moment, my brain goes to two places: 1) Who to blame and 2) How to fix it. I can’t say for sure which came first today, but most of the time the thoughts come in that order, so let’s go with the blame first. I could blame Bubba for them being out there in the first place. Or I could blame Jay for not seeing them when he left the house earlier this morning. But the truth is that I knew they were out there “drying” and had also commented that it looked like a storm was coming last night…I should have put two and two together. So amidst my back and forth blaming and pity partying, I moved on to a solution.
Send him barefoot? His class plays outside now. Socks only? Same thing. Make him wear them wet? They were literally dripping, so that might be considered torture. Throw them in the dryer? Not enough time. Dig in the hand-me-down clothes in the attic on the off chance that there is something there that would fit now? The probability is slim. It seems there was only one viable option: get everyone to Wal-mart. And fast.
Even while I was driving there, I was still riding that merry-go-round of blame and pity. I actually called Jay and my mom to invite them both to my party. But every few passes I tried to grab hold of at least the tiniest bit of thankfulness. Maybe it was a good thing after all that we all got up at 6:00 and not 6:30 because we never would have had time for this trip. Thank you, God, that I live less than 15 minutes from a new pair of shoes. Thank you, Wal-mart, for having Bubba’s size in a pinch…and a belt for me because I couldn’t find mine this morning.
I’m hoping these kinds of moments in the future (because I am sure there will be many, many more mommy fails) will be filled with more grace and thankfulness and less blame and pity.
That moment (7:15 a.m., to be exact) when you know exactly what your kid is getting ready to say, and you can’t stop it. Your best evil eye and distraction conversation and silently willing her, “Don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it,” are all lost. “MOM, WHY DOES THAT MAN HAVE NO LEGS?” Too late.
So you do the only thing you know to do. You grab her by the chin, get in real close, talk real low, and try to explain right there in the middle of the Wal-mart entrance why her innocent question (at 115 decibels) is wrong. And you pray that he sees you. That he doesn’t think you are that mom who lets her kid get away with it. “When you see people that are different, you do NOT point it out. This can hurt their feelings. If you have to ask mommy about it, you can ask me way later, when they can’t hear you. That was very rude.”
It seems we have lots of these chin-grabbing, low conversations these days….about calling people fat, and private parts, and telling the truth, and not giving up. If even a few get through, I’ll be glad.
Maybe today’s got through, because when he rang up Bubba’s shoes and my belt, she kept her mouth shut. Or maybe she just didn’t realize it was the same guy. Either way, he made a joke with us about the belt being “for the kids,” so I assume he had forgiven us. And I forgave her too.
And finally, that moment (7:35 p.m., to be exact) when you suck it up and just play with your kid. All you really want to do is check the day’s Facebook posts, or sit on the porch in silence, or maybe even wash some dishes. (Ok, never mind on the last one.) But she’s begging you, and you have no real excuse to say no, and worse, a friend who reminded you this very same day about the very same moment. So you do it. And it’s not so bad.
And you find yourself dancing on the sidewalk to the music in her head, dramatically passing a bunch of fake flowers back and forth. Or pretending to be a monster and a little girl from the Brave Human World forming a new friendship. Then she “reads” you a book in which she makes up every single word. And you end the night by sniffing the skunk and stinkbug she has drawn on the Magna Doodle, clarifying which one is smellier.
Thanks, friend, for the reminder that I’m not the only one who would rather do anything but the thing that will bring me the most joy. May we both have eyes to see those things and courage to do them.
“Don’t have a great day, just grab a couple great moments.” —Momastery.com