You know those days when mom-life just seems really hard and all you need is a little reminder that you are, in fact, doing something right? Today was one of those days for me, and I got one of the best reminders of all.
It has been a long and demanding past week and a half in our household. My husband had been practically on bedrest for a week after his procedure, rendering him useless as far as bedtimes, diaper changes, outfit changes, feeding time, bath time, driving goes… YEAH. (*Disclaimer: I really do make light of the situation. He is never useless in our family or home!) But after an over-exhausting week and a half, I was just pushed to my limits. Neither kid has slept much the past few nights, so that means Momma has not slept well – and I am not a well-rounded adult when I don’t get sleep.
Today I woke up tired and cranky. I tried my best to pull myself together before the mess of breakfast, getting the kids ready, playing, lunchtime, preschool drop-off, and errands. I felt defeated. I was thrilled when I got my daughter to school on time and she was still in a happy mood and ready to go learn. She loves school, the four days a week she goes are her most favorite days of the week. I’ll take that as my sign that I am doing something right, I thought. My daughter loves school, loves to learn, and has FUN doing it.
When I went to pick her up three hours later, I drove around the back of the building, as I do sometimes, to watch her and her classmates out on the playground. I am pretty sure this is the definition of hovering or a helicopter mom, but — I don’t give a shit. I like to watch her be careless and have fun and laugh. Usually I can find her running around playing tag with the majority of the kids, or sometimes on the swings with a couple other girls. Today, I had to look a little extra hard – even though she had on bright-colored chevron leggings and a hot pink shirt – and when I found her, I instantly began sobbing.
I found my daughter by the swings, but she wasn’t swinging herself. She was standing next to one of the teachers from her classroom, the teacher who works with the special needs student they have. My daughter has told us about this student before – when telling us who her best friends are. Sean and I were amazed that our girl never brought up her wheelchair. It’s not that we shelter her and don’t talk about how people have different bodies, we do, but she has never met anyone in a wheelchair before. She told us this girl was one of her best friends and then said, “Mom, she has such pretty hair!” That’s it. Conversation was over. Anyways, at the elementary school my daughter goes to, they have a long row of swings, and they also have swings that are wheelchair-accessible for those students who may need them. Today, I found my sweet, blonde-haired diva standing in front of that swing while her friend was in it, and she was pushing her gently. I looked at the teacher who was very intently watching, and she had the biggest, proudest smile on her face as she called over another teacher who came over and high-fived my daughter. I spotted the rest of the kids in the classroom, running around, sliding, swinging, jumping rope, and they were all so happy – including my daughter. I could tell from the smile on her face that she was helping her friend because she wanted to, she wanted to include her and play with her. She could have been playing tag or soccer, but she was right where she wanted to be.
I left my parking spot before recess was over so I could get to parent pick-up and pull my shit together so I wasn’t that hot mess mom. Once she got in the car, I asked her about her day — her favorite part of school, who she played with, what they had for snack, etc. She never brought up recess, and she never knew I had been watching. Silently, I am feeling like the proudest mom ever.
My daughter is curious and she’s learning. We have always swore that if she ever asks us tough questions about what makes people unique, that we would answer to the best of our abilities, but also make sure it is easy for her to understand. Her best friend in her class is of a different race and the opposite gender, and that’s just how it is. She has never asked us about it. If only the world could see things through the eyes of my blue-eyed beauty…
I had been so stressed about little things until I saw my daughter be so innocent and so open-hearted. I may not be the perfect mom, but I am raising one amazing daughter and that’s really all I can ask for right now. We must be doing something right, her big heart is my proof of that.
XOXO, Shelby – Proud Momma Bear