“Mom, can we talk?” she mutters as she slowly begins descending the stairs. Oh, mercy me! My mind races. This could be about anything. Is someone teasing her at school? Maybe ballet frustrations. Or perhaps she has something to confess. And then it begins to register. A quiver that can’t be heard, but one I could detect coming from her lips now.
“ … so thankful that she asked if we could talk … ”
Something is weighing my girl down. So thankful that she asked if we could talk rather than shoving her feelings down into the depths of her small being. She rounds the corner from the hallway and hops onto my lap. I feel her weight. I sense her frustration. And, now the quiver is quite visible. What comes out of her mouth next, however, is not something my heart was ready for.
Writer’s Note: Before we go any further I need to tell you that I would define myself as pretty sensitive. You know those Hallmark commercials? They always make me misty. And I’ll add to that the singing of The Star Spangled Banner and reading love notes from my husband. Okay, moving on …
Curled up in a cozy ball on my lap she finally lets it flow: “Mom, I miss you and never get to see you anymore and never get to spend any time with you.” Ouch! Felt stabbed in my heart by a bobby pin!
While I sit trying to digest this moment, swallowing the gargantuan lump in my throat, I realize that she is right. School, homework, dance class, rehearsal, bed and repeat. Not much wiggle room left in the schedule for the laissez faire days of toddlerhood when we just went with the flow.
I’m blessed she still wants to be with me. That for certain will likely not last forever. But what can I do? How can I fix this? School is obviously a must, and she adores ballet along with its accompanying rehearsals and performances.
My ears begin to heat up as I become agitated realizing that I can’t fix this. There is only so much time in the day. I suppose I could come out of retirement and start taking class again. Just kidding. Trying to keep it light here. I am so grateful that she loves school and has truly found dance to be her ‘thing.’ But it is the mommy-daughter time I’m told she craves.
“At the end of the day … I snuggle in closer … and stay a minute longer than I did the night before.”
So my solution. It isn’t this grandiose solve all. In fact, it is quite simple. The fix is in the time we DO spend together and the attention I give it. That means the phone is down. The radio is off – it is so much better making up our own songs. Prepping dinner becomes more fun with the addition of some music and a boogie.
I suppose what I am saying is this: It ALL has to get done. The tasks, the meals, the errands, the housework, the laundry, driving here and there, school, class, and rehearsals. But I’m vowing to make them all matter more now. And the best part is at the end of the day when I sneak in that extra page of bedtime reading. I snuggle in closer, just an inch more. And, I stay a minute longer than I did the night before.
Writer’s Note: Looking for a simple “go to” dinner recipe that is fresh and healthy to boot? Check out Theatre Hour Dining.