These last few summer mornings, while my teacher-husband and the boys are still sleeping, my vigilant daughter wakes and comes to find me. My spunky daughter, my sometimes muse, sometimes nemesis, she came into the world two weeks late, wide awake, and hasn’t slowed down since.
On these summer mornings I start a show for her, prep some breakfast and then we have a few minutes to sit together.
She peppers me with questions,
“Mommy, can you get doughnuts for breakfast tomorrow?”
“It’s NEXT Friday you will leave work early so we can go on our trip?”
“Who is coming to watch us when Daddy goes golfing today?”
She wants to know the PLAN.
I tell people she got the brain parts I lost during pregnancy and childbirth. Her fresh little mind seem to remember so many things much more easily than I do. I frequently use that ability to my advantage, she’s like my own little organic day-planner.
She is a mysterious blend of confidence and anxiety, care-giver and egocentric, go-getter and un-cooperative. As an unfiltered little girl, she just happens to put far more on display than I generally do. It is both unsettling and sobering to see this mini-reflection of my own assets and faults on fully exposed right before my eyes.
As our morning minutes come to a close it has been harder and harder to pull myself out the door to make my way to work. Working mom, working mom, the words repeat in my head like a chant. I balance the tension and hold onto God’s promises: Psalm 138:8 “The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of your hands.”
It is very important to her to get kisses and hugs before I go. I squeeze her tighter and slowly scoot off the couch, kissing the top of her head. I pick up my purse, give another kiss and hug, and slowly open the front door.
Today she grinned at me as I walked out the door. Love and relief wash over me. At least this morning she seems to understand. She knows Mommy goes to work and I’ll be back. At least in this moment there is peace behind her twinkling eyes.
As I’m backing out I realize I forgot my smoothie. I pull back into the driveway and rush back through the door. Grab smoothie, another kiss, another grin, another day with my girl