Well, let’s just say, that sometimes, the bar eats you. My daughter has been attending Knox College For Kids, taking art, Spanish and voice. This morning was a small little recital where MY daughter had TWO solos, Castle in A Cloud from Les Miserable and Stay by Rihanna. Drumroll, please!……………. I missed them both. Not because there was a family crisis, not because I worked, I simply had the wrong performance time in my head. I thought she went on an hour later than she actually did. I am reminded of the time when our dearest friend Julie showed up at our wedding as we were marching down the aisle just having been married. The look on her face of disappointment mingling with a little sadness, is the same look I envision plastered on our daughters beautiful face. I imagine her thinking, “Where are they? They said they’d be here!” and then, “They don’t love me, I knew not to trust those scoundrels. That’s it, I’m done with these parents!” And when she says ‘parents’, she says it with so much disgust, that the person next to her wonders if she’s choking on a gigantic phlegm ball trapped in her throat.
My stomach is in knots, and all I can think about is how stupid of a mistake I made.
So, as parents (phlegm!) how much do we punish ourselves? Do I dwell on it all day, sulking like Alexander and his horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day? Thus making it more about me and my feelings than my daughter? I mean, I spoke to her on the phone and she seems fine, excited. When I picked her up, she again, was fine, excited and fully animated about what she has learned in the past two weeks. As I am driving the truck home, I wonder if her lack of concern over my absence is just her way of disarming me before her attack of “Why, Mom,Why!!!!! I trusted you to be there, this was my first solo I have ever preformed and you guys weren’t there! You are bad parents (phlegm!)”. Instead, when I apologized and explained my idiotic, totally avoidable mistake to her, she looked at me and smiled, then opened her mouth and said, ” Mom, it’s okay. I make mistakes all the time. I did a great job and it was fun!”. Dumbfounded. Do I over-estimate my power of parental support? Did I think she was going to crumble on stage if I or her daddy wasn’t present with her? Worst of all, did I under-estimate my daughters strength? Yes, yes and YES.
This past year with my daughter has taught me so many things about her. She is much stronger at 12 than I was at 20, she’s wiser too. She is going places, where I floundered and jumped from thing to thing at that age. I love and respect her focus. And, I totally under estimated her strength today.
But, I should have been there. Now, not because she would have crumbled without me, but because I wanted to witness her awesomeness.
As I think about me trying to explain myself to Hattie in the truck, dropping any thoughts of sabotage that I was sure she was planning, I now imagine her thinking, “Geeze mom, would you shut up! It’s fine, I’m fine.” and then rolling her mental eyeballs and adding, “Sheesh, Parents! (phlegm!)”