I thought it wouldn’t happen until she was 12 but today as we parked in near the school, my 6 year old told me that she wanted to walk alone. My offense? I was wearing my sweat pants. They were clean and unwrinkled but, OK, so I had slept in them the night before.
I thought I had been clever to sleep in clothes that I could get away with wearing to chauffeur her to school. It is always rushed in the morning and I hoped to go for a run after dropping her off anyway. But Nicole was not impressed by my attempt at the early morning time management that put personal appearance down on the list of priorities, way below the need to get her hair to stop sticking up in the last minutes before we had to dash for the car.
Still sitting in the car, I offered to put on my lipstick. She brightened and let me know that doing so would “help.” So I dug it out of the ugly handbag that gets by as my purse. Thanks to my quick thinking, she took my hand and we walked together to the door of the school.
The truth is that though I am stretched too much. I have let some things slack. If I am going to manage to get in some exercise in during my week, the hair prep time might have to give a little to allow it. But my blood pressure is not something my 6 year old can see. My baggy sweatpants are.
So I had to accept that the strategies that helped me survive my life working at home during her infancy and toddler-hood are no longer going to cut it. Of course my little girl wants to be proud of her Mama. I certainly don’t want to be a social liability for her.
The incident made me remember the story a friend told me about her Irish born mother. She told it to demonstrate how eccentric and embarrassing her mother was when she was a young girl. It seems that her mom liked to do early morning gardening. One Sunday, with the car loaded of kids all ready for church, her dad gave mom a ‘last call’ to get in if they were to make it in time for Mass. So to the utter horror of her daughter, she put down her trowel and jumped in, muddy boots and all. “The Good Lord will be interested in what’s in my heart, not what’s on my feet,” she informed her mortified kids.
When I heard the story, I instantly loved this lady. But now I realize that it might have been better to have a spare pair of loafers within hand’s reach for the sake of the family’s image.
As I sat at the computer while my girl was at school learning to count by 10s, I managed to work in a pedicure, multi-task queen that I am. I spent just a bit more time getting ready to pick her up, having showered and actually done the hair business. I put on the right earrings and my sandals to show off my painted toes.
Tomorrow morning, getting ready and off to school will undoubtedly be rushed as is usually the case. But I am going to take a moment before bed to put out some good pants and when the morning comes, I will remember to hide the muddy boots.
Reminder for the day: Show yourself the same compassion that you would show your child when they are learning to tie their shoes.
Let me help you make special memories with your children.
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