I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea to bring my then 3 year old daughter and 6 month old son to go shopping at the mall at 5 pm. This revelation came to me many times as I sat on the floor of the omen’s department at Sears. I sat quietly and watched Jenna throw a massive temper tantrum while the baby slept in his stroller. I just wanted to get in the car and go home, but I was paralyzed because there was no way I could carry her kicking and screaming, push the stroller outside and carry several large shopping bags. I was determined to hold my ground. There was no freaking way Jenna was going on the carousel. Not after the meltdown she had at the shoe store 10 minutes beforehand . I told her if she behaved herself, we would go on the carousel She didn’t keep her end of the deal –refusing to try on sneakers she desperately needed and tried to make a break for the merry-go-round by running out of the store unattended. She could scream all day if she wanted to. I was not giving in. But then, I realized I was sstuck-stuck at Sears, 50 feet from my car. I couldn’t push the stroller, carry her kicking and screaming in my arms along with all of the shopping bags. So, I just sat on the floor and remained perfectly still while she screamed and cried and carried on. People at the check out nearby couldn’t help but look over at all of the commotion. As the older moms walked by us out the door – to what I considered the Promised Land, they nodded, smiled knowingly and remarked that I was doing the right thing. “I remember those days,” one said to me. “Let her cry it out,” another advised. She only screamed louder as members of the Mom Solidarity Squad walked by us in united support. But no one offered to actually help me. And just when I thought I would have to spend the night at the department store–an angel appeared before me. An angel with a plan. “Come on. Let’s go.” she said. “I’ll push the stroller, my son will take your bags and you carry your daughter. We will get you to your car.” I blinked back tears of joy. I was getting out of Sears! For a brief moment, I considered the plan wondering if I was a terrible mother to let a complete stranger push my son in his stroller to our car, but I saw no other option and I wanted to go home. Ten years later, I still remember that woman and her act of kindness. I can’t walk into Sears without thinking about her and wondering if I remembered to thank her for helping me in my time of need. If it wasn’t for her, I might still be there.
In the seventh grade, I had a best friend and we did everything together. She was my lunch buddy, my gym partner, and my partner in crime. We did school projects at each other’s homes and went roller skating almost every Saturday night. We laughed at the same movies, quizzed each other with those origami paper fortune telling games from the ’80’s (remember those?), and mastered Pac-Man. We were pretty much inseparable over the summer. She was everything a best friend should have been. And then in eighth grade, it all changed. Within the first few weeks of school, she ignored me completely and began to hang out with a new set of friends. She partnered with someone else in gym class and sat at another table during lunch which I considered to be the ultimate betrayal. Pretty soon, it became clear to me that–without warning our friendship–was over. She had moved on. Thankfully, I had a great group of friends who I am still friends with to this day through Facebook. We weren’t the most popular or most athletic group of kids, but we had each other’s back and that is what is most needed in high school. As my daughter starts high school this year, she is having a similar experience. She recently asked me if I thought it was okay that she didn’t have one best friend. Without hesitation, I reassured her that it was absolutely okay. She has lots of friends and tends to float between groups which I think is fantastic.
Isn’t there always one more thing that needs to get done before you go to bed. And if you are like me, you always remember what that thing is before you fall asleep. Right? Last night, I realized I didn’t pack a lunch for Jenna. Normally, this would be no big deal and she is certainly old enough to pack her own lunch. But, today she is leaving on a 3 day bus trip to Virginia and had to leave at 5:30 this morning. And to her credit, she packed her own bag for the trip so the least I could do was make her lunch. Of course, I completely forgot to do it and it was 11:30 pm before it came to mind. And then, the “oh-shits” began in my head: Oh shit – Will I remember to pack her lunch in the morning? Oh shit – Will I get up early enough to make it? Oh-shit -What do I have for her to eat? As a vegetarian, packing lunches on the go for her can be quite challenging. Yes, I suppose I could have just jumped out of bed right then and there to make her lunch, but I was exhausted. Before I could will myself awake, I simply conked out. There was no freaking way I could have done one more thing in my already busy day. I managed to get everything else done on my to do list including: sending the kids off to day camp, going to the dentist and then to work, making a healthy dinner (complete with zucchini fries – yum!), washing, drying, and putting away the dishes, and running 2 loads of laundry. I also managed to remember to go to the ATM for spending money for Jenna’s trip. BONUS POINTS! Luckily, I woke up in time to make her lunch and there was plenty of food for her to take on the long bus ride. Although she is not a morning person, I was able to coax her out of bed at an ungodly hour, feed her breakfast and pack her last minute pair of shorts that she asked me to wash. Today, I’m off to a great start and it is only 6 am. I just can’t help but wonder what that “one more thing” is going to be before my head hits the pillow tonight.
This week has been completely for the birds and I mean that literally. I’m not sure what kind of feathered friends built a nest in the siding underneath my bedroom window–but it is time for them to fly the coop. All night long, I hear tweeting, chirping and sometimes screeching. flipping the bird free as a bird fine feathered friends ruffled feathers