Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Oh My Gosh, Really? No Way."

I was practicing my reactions yesterday. Reactions to you sitting across from me telling me all the good scoop from elementary school. I imagined we'd sit and eat a salad or cheeseburger at our "spot" together and you would dish on all the things going on most important to you from your day or week. I would sit there listening of course, but mostly just marveling over the fact I get to be your mom.

Typically I grab my lunch on the go or eat at my desk while working but yesterday I went to Mission Burrito and sat, phone in purse, and ate my lunch alone with my thoughts. There were only a handful of others there eating and I quickly noticed the 3 ladies at the booth closest to me. Grandma, mom and daughter.

Daughter was adorable and we smiled to each other before I'd even sat down as we both filled up our drinks at the same time. You know how you can sense a person's demeanor and spirit instantly? This young lady was precious and so peaceful, she radiated the absolute sweetest nature. But after a while of overhearing what was going on at their table, I got the sense she didn't get it from her mom or grandmother.

"You're sitting on my purse, GET OFF of my purse" grandma sternly ordered and sweetly she replied "Grandma, your purse is next to mom across from you." Just looking at mom you could see she was tired and annoyed, quickly correcting whatever her daughter was talking about saying "Ten and a half doesn't mean anything. You can only say you're ten and when you turn eleven, say you're eleven."

It's been a long time since I was ten years old, but not so long that I've forgotten what a big deal ten and a half really is. I don't know these women or where they've come from so it's not for me to judge, but I did learn and take some notes during my lunch. In fact, I texted DK right away saying "I can't wait to take her on picnics, to the movies and out for shopping/lunch dates. Just her and me." He responded quickly saying he had also had a ton of dad/daughter date ideas lined up.

I won't go into the details of how psychologically, to have your parents celebrate you, listen to you, be interested in you, allow you to have a voice, make time for you, allow you to express yourself without judgement and weed out distractions just to be present for you makes for a pretty balanced kid cause I really don't even know the true clinical ins and outs of all that. But it just makes sense.

Designating a time whether they're 5 or 12, making a big deal out of getting ready to go, picking a place to eat, getting excited about what you've ordered and then being open to whatever on earth she wants to talk about. Waking up her sleepy head before dawn, filling a thermos with hot coffee and heading on a beautiful morning hike together, talking or just hiking in silence. Splurging for a massive bouquet of flowers after her dance recital, singling her out from the other kids and celebrating when she accomplished something amazing at school, listening to a song we both know by heart in the car and singing at the top of our lungs, asking her what she thinks about politics and allowing her to have her own opinion, creating an environment with no inhibitions to keep her from dancing wildly to her favorite music, chic flicks with popcorn together on a rainy afternoon, talks till 3 a.m. about why he broke up with her (loser), stopping for lunch together after shopping for a prom dress, and girl trips here and there to visit places and people we love.

These are the things I daydream about with her. I don't want to miss a moment. And I want her to know how celebrated she truly is.

God, give me everything I need to be the mom she needs and deserves.
Shirley Maclaine and her daughter. For more photos, check out this blog I found!


debra said...

this is so beautiful.

Stew Cooper said...

It's disheartening sometimes to see parent/child interactions like that, but at least it's a reminder that you want to do better given a chance. My hope is that they were just having a bad day. It truly breaks my heart to see the ways some people treat children. It has been a constant choice in my life as a parent to not treat Coop, Chris and Sarah like I was treated so often as a child. I love that you and DK are so excited by the future times, planning things that are still years off. Don't ever forget how you feel today, that you are priveledged to be that child's parent!

Crystal said...

{sniff}{sniff}...I really enjoyed this post LiZ. That girl you saw was me about 30 years ago. Words can be harsh and sometimes parents don't realize the everlasting pain. Its wonderful to forgive, learn, and change our actions. You will be a wonderful Mommy! God Bless you... :^)

Crystal said...

{sniff}{sniff}...I enjoyed this post Liz. The girl you saw was me about 30 yrs ago. Sometimes parents don't realize how the harshness of words can leave an everlasting pain. It's great to forgive, learn, and make a change. You will be a Great Mommy! God Bless You...! :^)

Alaina said...

Perfect. How lucky and blessed you are!