“It is time to go. Come on. We are going to be late for school.” It is something I say to my daughter every morning.
Like any six year old, she commences her day when she is ready. I stalk her as soon as the clock hits 6:45 a.m. “It’s time to get up. Come on! Wake up. Let’s go eat breakfast.” There is the usual moaning accompanied by the famous phrase, “Can I sleep for five more minutes?” I, of course, am not interested in having this discourse, knowing that teaching her to be timely is something that should be a lesson that is learned and cemented early in life. “No. Not five more minutes. It’s time to wake up NOW.” With this declaration that sounds more like a demand, she jumps out of bed and heads toward breakfast.
This morning she lingers a little over her fruit and cereal and we are running just a little behind. I tell her to grab her back pack and her water bottle as she dawdles toward the car. “Did you wear your shoes? Did you buckle your seat belt?” I am firing questions to her and I hope she remembers that I do this out of loving-kindness and not because I want an alternative career as a drill sargeant. She usually answers with, “Yes. Momma. I already did it.”
We pull up to the school within fifteen minutes and head toward her classroom. She runs ahead because she is excited about recess and the desire to hang from the monkey bars. Before she can head to the playground, she is required to unpack her backpack. We empty out her homework folder, place the water bottle in the room, and usually, place her lunch box in the carton near the door.
This morning it didn’t pan out as planned. She unzips her backpack and announces, “Momma, where is my lunch? I think we forgot it.” In a hurry, I know that I left her lunch in the refrigerator. Her mouth starts to curve into a frown. “Don’t worry, I will run back home and grab your lunch and bring it back to the school.” With that she is satisfied and she kisses me on the cheek and waves good-bye.
Instead of running directly back home to retrieve her lunch, I decide to run errands. On my way, I encounter a Subway sandwich store. My daughter is a huge fan of the veggie sub. As a surprise, I buy her a veggie sub, chips and a chocolate chip cookie. Dropping of this lunch at the school office, I feel an odd sense of satisfaction.
I pick her up late in the afternoon and as she climbs into the car, she says, “Momma, you got me a subway for lunch! I was so excited! At first I was standing in the hot lunch line because I didn’t have my lunchbox, but there was only meat to eat. I told the lunch lady I was vegetarian. After a few minutes of waiting, someone brought my lunchbox to me.” She is saying this in one breath.
“And then you know what, Momma, I turned to my friend and told her, “My Momma is my hero. She came to the rescue with my lunch.”
As soon as she says this, my insides are bawling. Her statement was so unexpected. It made me really think about parenting. Sometimes I am so busy trying to parent her by emphasizing order and time and good behavior that I forget the power of a single simple gesture. Bringing my daughter’s favorite lunch to school was enough.
This is so sweet. Sometimes we forget how big the small unexpected things can be.
While the sandwich is sweet and I so agree that the little treats and unexpected thoughtful gestures are what make life sweet – I believe you can also rest easy in your “mother heart” that you’ll also be her hero for teaching her those routine, responsible, grown-up qualities. One day when she’s a contributing citizen of the world – it will be because her Momma said, “no, not five more minutes,” and asked rapid fire questions on those busy school mornings. It’s balance. And both sides are important. This post is a good reminder of both.
What a lovely story and such a sweet moment. As I read this, I had the following thoughts.
I’ve been thinking so much about the necessity of swallowing my selfish and prideful desires so I can develop meaningful relationships with my kids. Probably like you, I am very much into structure and routine, knowing it’s how I best function and thrive, but (and probably not like you) this often leads to less organic playtime and communication with my kids. I am learning (and not being pregnant really helps) to be more flexible.
I love that you are your daughters “hero” for bringing her a veggie delight. My daughter is vegetarian too and loves this Subway sandwich. I agree as a parent we so often overlook the simpler things in life.. things that really matter to our kids. I love that they teach us about patience, unconditional love and simple surprises…things that adults easily take for granted.
So sweet. I, too, feel like the kindergarten drill sergeant. Get up, get dressed, brush your teeth, don’t wake your brothers, where are your socks?, eat faster, feed the cat, let’s go, let’s go, let’s GO. Maybe I need to drive by a Subway!
I love to hear this story and it makes me smile to know that you are her hero! So sweet
This could be our house in the morning! I had tears in my eyes reading this because it’s all too true. I hope that I am teaching my daughter all these important things and responsibilities. But I do also want her to know that those little personal things are so important too. The other day I got her a kind of fruit she likes at the supermarket and when I brought the bags home, her face lit up and she said “my mom is the BEST!” That sure does feel good, especially after I feel like the meanest for making her clean up her toys and shoes. But if someday she brings home her kid’s favorite berries for a surprise, then we did well! Enjoyed your post. 🙂
Beautiful post, they will give us simple reminders that our work is not in vain. Visiting from SITS, have a wonderful weekend.
What a beautiful moment. Thank you for sharing it. Those hero moments are what keep us going, aren’t they?
Happy Sharefest. I hope you have a lovely weekend.
This was such a sweet story.
I suppose in this story you are the one who forgot the lunch, but many years ago I read a parenting expert’s advice that if the child forgot their lunch the parent should let them go hungry as a lesson to not forget their lunch.
I suppose if this is a chronic problem you could consider this solution, but I think the bigger lesson–that mom is a hero and loves you–is so much more important.
Good job! Those little gestures are the ones that will save you when she’s 14 and doesn’t think you are much of a hero anymore. Deep down she will know you are.
I am just like you every morning.. I also throw orders and military-like orders to my first grader like “wear your socks, brush your teeth..” then the school bus arrives and I would feel this sudden separation anxiety! I recently changed our morning routines. i now make it a point to wake her up with a cheery,”Good morning Sunshine girl!” and this always brightens up her day. 🙂
I love this ! So sweet it made me remember sweetness as such with my boys. You touched my heart. Xo