my girl

of course, resolution is necessary after a post like that, is it not?

i picked someone up from school today. who? oh, i dunno. some blustery nine year old girl. and before i could open my mouth, the apologies spilled out, along with a little bouquet of buttercups she had collected and taped together. for me.

mom, i’m so very, very sorry. i cried as i tried to walk the second mile because you weren’t there. i was the only one who didn’t finish three miles.

of course, the human is not easily separated from the mother. the human was furious at being treated like crap. the mother was feeling terrible because she made her girl cry, and she never, ever likes to do that. but she is the mother, not the friend. and she has to buck up at times, as it is her job to teach.

i took a deep breath. and i put my arm around her.

i’m sorry you were upset. i was upset, too. you really hurt my feelings when you dismissed me.

those big eyes, the same ones her dad has, glanced upward at me, slowly and sadly. mama, you misunderstood. i thought you wouldn’t want to do the stretches, so i was telling you to go away over to the other side so you wouldn’t have to do stretches.

another deep breath. pull the other one, little girl. i need to stretch just as much as anyone else, honey. you know, BC, i hate running. i came here because you asked me. and then, when you told me to stand on the other side, i was very angry. i don’t need to do these things; i do them because you ask me to. if you don’t want me there, don’t ask me. i have plenty of other things to do.

girlfriend is not a teary-deary like her mom. it was her turn to take a breath. i know, i know. i’m really, really sorry.

okay honey. i was about to tear up. that’s my job. i love you, even when i’m upset with you or mad at you. you’re my girl, and i love you no matter what.

we smiled at each other. and we proceeded on with the rest of our afternoon. we were together, and we were happy. i was happy. i needed to be happy, and sometimes, the way into unhappiness for me is also my way out: my children.

sometimes, i like to milk an apology for all it’s worth by adding something random for which my child ought to be thankful. is it a jewish mother thing? no. a me thing? probably. i’m so evil.

so tonight was no different. i pulled up youtube, as madame was in a dancing mood and we love to dance around here.

i pulled up some pink floyd. a n c i e n t pink floyd. the floyd BS doesn’t like, thanks to the inclusion of one syd barrett, a guy i adore not just because he would probably be secret boyfriend material for me (if he were: 1) about 40 years younger; 2) not mentally fried; and 3) not dead) because he truly is one crazy diamond. and i started in.

now see, if you didn’t already have a cousin named emily, you might have been named emily, all because of this song.

BC pricked up her ears and listened to the weird psychedelia. EWWWWW! she squealed. did she hate it? were the roaming piano lines, the groovy organ runs, the sudden percussive loudness too much for her? was i going to squeeze out another you’re the best mom in the world; thank you for not naming me after a crazy, drugged-out syd barrett song?

nope. girlfriend proceeded to do a floaty, 1960s swim move. and she beamed her thousand watt smile my way.

that’s my girl.


8 Responses to “my girl”

  1. Smart children are such a handful, aren’t they? I’m guessing girls even more than boys, but maybe I’m biased. Yes, I’m biased.

    Just another heartbreaking mother-daughter communication, right? Glad you worked it out so well. And I’ll have to get my two to listen to Pink Floyd, not that i think about it.



  2. Wow. I never thought I’d meet another mother who rears her child with surround-sound. The first songs my kids learned?

    “I’ve got a bike, you can ride it if you like”….

    “I want to tell you a story, about a little man if I can, a gnome named Grimble Grumble…”

    Well done, sister.

  3. I’m glad I was smart enough to go read the prior post – as you sug’d in the first sentence, of course. BOTH of these have me crying and laughing. You sound like the very best kind of mother.

  4. and sometimes, the way into unhappiness for me is also my way out: my children.
    Words never ranger truer for me. I read your post yesterday and could emphathize so much. I haven’t been shunned (yet) by my two girls 2 and 5, but it is coming I know. I’m so glad today was a better day.

  5. Oh! oh. oh my. You had me weeping at the taped up bouquet of buttercups. Dang! I hate those kind of misunderstandings. It makes me think of that box full of kisses story or The Gift of the Magi. Way to keep it together, mom-style, and make it into a learning moment.

  6. I think children are made that cute so that we don’t maim them on a regular basis.

    I’m with you on the non-appreciation front, believe me! Why, just tonight, as I ran like a lunatic to pick up DD on time from Brownies, I was met with, “I’m not READY yet.” And then she ran off. Excuse you?

    Good for you for walking away and letting her learn from the experience. You are a WONDERFUL mother for doing that. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  7. oh. i totally need to organize an unappreciated mothers outing. it will be for a full weekend. our significant others will have to be the ones who deal with the carpooling activities / entertainment of the children (although we all know those kids will be parked in front of the TV/PC).

  8. Aw, she’s such a sweetie.

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