Monday, August 24, 2015

Little Tiny

My daughter is mostly mediocre.
Don't gasp in horror or immediately judge my parenting.  She has great moments, but most of them don't stand out from everyone else.  I don't expect her to play sports professionally or to go to college on a full-ride.
Does this mean I am not proud of my daughter? Not even a little bit.
Does this mean I am not in awe of her? No way!
What it means is that I am realistic.  I know that my kid is average in most ways.
I know that she has her glistening moments of amazement, but on the whole, she isn't earth-shattering.
Neither am I.
There is nothing wrong with mediocre.  It is actually okay to be average.

What isn't average and quite often stops me in my tracks is her heart.
There is no scale for the delicacy or purity of her love.
My little girl who has already been jaded by love and endured loss some people can't begin to understand has one of the kindest and sweetest souls I have ever seen.

Last week she called me on the phone with a break in her voice.
She had found a baby mouse in the driveway. He wasn't walking and couldn't open his eyes, but he appeared unharmed.  Little did she know I had found the sucker in the cats bed.  And thinking that he was dead I had drug the cat bed outside and put him on the grass.  A few hours later she found him, rescued him, and our little adventure began.

She woke up every two hours to hand feed this little baby.  He nuzzled under her fingertips and slept in the warmth of her hands.  He seemed to love his new mommy and I can't even begin to express the love in the eyes of my twelve year old.  She was beyond in love.  She was gentle and particular, and knew exactly what the baby needed to function.  She was the most attentive and loving mother I had ever seen.  And for a mouse.  A mouse that I was told "to flush" or "I'll bop it with a shovel" or "just stomp him with your shoe."  Horrific.  I cannot physically process doing something like that to the life of an animal.  Especially one so small, so helpless, and so sweet.

Needless to say, I knew we were in trouble with this one.  I knew the attachment would grow and that one day when we had to say goodbye to him (and once he was rehabilitated and his eyes were open that day would come) that I would have a very sad little girl.  My girl who has loved and lost two very important people in her life.  My girl who is so strong and brave.

I would come home from work and she would have spent a few hours researching how to raise baby mice and how to keep them warm.  She knew their life expectancy and how they like to sleep.  She knew what they would eat from infant to adulthood.  She kept her room shut up from the cats and the sweet baby locked away inside.

We got a good 6 days with our baby before the icy breath of death settled in.  In his last moments, his body went cold and his breathing began to slow.  All Alanna wanted to do was hold him a minute longer.  She was devastated that she couldn't see his little mousey face and whiskers looking up at her anymore.  And I felt sorrowful for the emptiness my daughter was feeling.
A mouse, the size of my thumb, brought me to full on tears.
All the while my girl wept in pain.

We cut a piece of his blanket, wrapped him inside, and buried him in the rock garden under our favorite tree. As we put the rocks back on top of the ground, we wept.  A tiny little life effected ours in such a monumental way.

I got to work today and emailed her before she woke up.  I told her I loved her and was proud of her. I told her that no 12-year old in their right mind would wake up every two hours to hand-feed a baby mouse - and on summer vacation!!  I told her that I was so proud of her selfless love.  I told her I was in awe that she could open up her soul wide enough to fill it with so much love.  Her mom doesn't have a heart like that anymore.  We practice kindness always, but love doesn't come easy for me.  I told her that I didn't know what I did to deserve her as my daughter.  I told her that her light made me want to be a better person. And it does.

My beautiful daughter who is mostly mediocre has an exceptional heart and for that, I am the luckiest mother.  She has given me everything I could ever ask for.

While I wish this could play as soon as this post was clicked, it cannot. So here is my little bit of my Universe. <-- this song may have been made for her.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Time: It's On Our Side

You know those people who are perpetually early?  Those people who aren't just 5 minutes early, but a half hour early, because 5 minutes would never suffice in getting themselves ready for the things they have to do BEFORE the things they have to do?  Yeah, I am that person. 

I usually will arrive so early that I will sit in my car and read or journal or even listen to an audiobook.  Or play online.  Or crochet a blanket.  Or drink a pot of coffee and play some video games.  If I get down to the 10 minute mark, I will usually call and let someone know I am going to be late. And by late, I mean on time - according to every other schedule.  Heaven forbid that I am actually "on-time" or I shudder to think: LATE, but I will probably just not show up all together or quit my job or be institutionalized.  Or all three at once.

Yesterday, I was very late.  And yesterday, I was very unhappy about it.

Alanna had tryouts for her softball team.  Against my better judgment, I let her go to a friends afternoon birthday party. Knowing quite well that the birthday party was from 1:00 to 3:00, I assumed that she would be dropped off by 3:30, home and ready by 4:00, and out the door to tryouts by 4:30.   They went to an adventure park where you climb trees and zip-line and do obstacle courses 20' in the air.  Pretty cool, sure. 
Maybe I live in a fantasy world of sorts. 
Maybe I am a lunatic to think other people run on a clock that is 5 minutes ahead of the actual time too, just so I can be not just 30, but 35 minutes early.
Well boy was I wrong.

At 4:00, after not hearing from my kid ALL DAY, I called her and got no answer. 
My heart began to race a little.
I immediately called the mother,
"Hi Melissa. Is Alanna home?"
"No, she is up a tree at the course?  Isn't her thing at 6?"
"No, its at 5 and it is currently 4."
"Well she is on the course right now so I'll send her down as soon as she is done.  Can she be picked up?"
"I guess she will have to be.  I'll leave work now.  I thought the party was from 1:00 til 3:00?"
"It was, but they didn't kick us out, so we didn't leave. So we figured we would stay until they figured it out. hahaha."
*No laughter or cheer* "Okay, well please tell her to meet me out front as soon as you can. I'll be there as soon as I can."

I got the park within 12 minutes; it really wasn't far from my work.
Then I sat in the parking lot for another 45 minutes. 45 MINUTES?!?!?!?!?!
I texted this mom another 12 times saying 'Does it really take this long to do an obstacle course?" and "Can you tell her to sprint to me, please?"
I lost it. I was crying. I grrrr'ed a little (or a lot), I hyperventilated, and I punched some things within my car (e.g.: the steering wheel, the dashboard, my legs, etc...) 
I even got out of my car to pace.  All while texting feverishly, wanting to throw up, and wishing I could just pull away and leave my child there to suffer the consequences. 

Finally, when I walked into the park to drag her out by her harness, she came walking up the path.

"You are soooooo done."
"Why, Mom?"

Needless to say, I had a mother's meltdown. 
I did not win the Parent of the Year Award and I will definitely not be considered a role model of any kind. 
All because someone else's lack of expedience - and general regard for other people's lives.

Yeah....I lost my cool.  Absolutely lost my shit, because someone made me a near hour late for something that was pretty important. 
Even if it wasn't important I would have felt the same way, because being on time is important to me.  If you are going to make me late, then don't bother including me.  I would rather call in sick than be late. I would rather sit in the theatre lobby and go to the next show two hours later than miss the first five minutes.  There are so many "I would rather..." moments here.
But please don't make me late.

I lost my mind over time yesterday and I am sure I will do it again in the future.
I didn't learn from this. I couldn't control the situation and that wasn't okay for me.
I am not sure how to resolve this for myself in the future other than to take a Xanex when I know I am going to be late.  Ooooo, Xanex!  Why didn't I think of that yesterday?