Friday, June 18, 2010

I Am Such a Lucky Mom


I spent yesterday scrubbing my house and getting ready for my neighborhood's Civic Association meeting, which I was hosting.  I was expecting between 10-15 people--and who better to talk up my house to everyone they know who is looking than people who already live in the neighborhood?  I prepared as if it was an Open House but with food.  I went grocery shopping and made my own gorgeous antipasti plates, heaped with cheeses and fruits and painstakingly rolled cold cuts and cheeses... I farmed Jane (9) out to a play date (She was blissfully happy but I, naturally, felt very guilty because that's just what I do) and made Ana (12) help me. I cleaned the whole house, did all of the laundry, windexed all surfaces, stashed clutter, etc. When I tell you my Obsessive Compulsiveness was in full bloom, I am, for once, not exaggerating.

My foot was really hurting but I felt like I had to treat this like a marketing event.  We've had no traffic at all since the Open House this past weekend.

Two people showed up. TWO.  One of whom is a neighbor.  The other is the editor of the neighborhood newsletter for which I do the design and layout each month.

We had a good time and I held it together but afterward, when they'd left, I got teary.  All that work, all that expense, all this pain --for nothing. I was embarrassed to have made such a big deal out of something that really wasn't. My husband was so kind to me.  He gave me a big hug and resorted to the Ultimate Measure of Manly Comfort: the fishing metaphor.  "Sometimes you fish all day and never catch anything.  I hope you had at least a little fun fishing."

I went upstairs to bed about 10:00 and could see Ana was still awake in her bed.  I went in to kiss her goodnight, tears fresh in my eyes. I explained that I was disappointed and embarrassed and felt sort of silly and sad.

She got out of bed and hugged me and looked at me with great concern as she walked me to my bedroom.

"Wait," she said.  "Don't go anywhere."

She disappeared into her room and came running back with a fresh, unused notebook and a blue Flair pen (my favorite writing pen at the moment).

"Here, Mom," she said. "Write about it.  That's what I do to feel better when I'm sad."

And the best part?

She said, "I learned that from you."

Sometimes the gentle butterfly wings of grace and generosity in my life beat such a rush of gratitude and love that it literally topples me over.

I'm living in that today--in the gentle grace of the amazing person I am lucky enough to call my daughter.

10 comments:

Ei said...

Way to make women across the internets cry, Ana. She learned that from her mama too.

kim said...

So very lucky! Sweet girl.

Also, the bigger the fish, the harder the catch... or something like that. It'll happen for you. Really.

Kathy said...

You know, and this isn't a criticism, it's been a while since you've written something and/or I've been in the right mindframe that was powerful enough to make me cry at my desk. I guess I'm feeling a little emotional today and also that I can totally put myself in the exact same scenario in which I would have done the exact same amount of preparation and had the exact same response.

TexasPeach said...

I see myself in you so many times..and this was one of them. I'd have done the exact same thing and felt the exact same way. Not sure my 12 yr old son would have come through the same way Ana did though. You know...you are such a great mom..even if you don't believe it...and this just goes to show it. Ana would not have that compassion if she didn't have you for a Mom!!! Thanks for making me cry!!

Mokihana said...

What a lovely post and what a lovely daughter...

I am blessed, she is blessed, and so are you.

LaDonna said...

Yep, you are a lucky mom. And you've completely reduced me to a blubbering mess as I sit here at work reading your latest...time to suck it up and get back to work! SNIFF!

Hannah said...

That's beautiful! That's my approach too (I did it today to process my daughter's near-drowning this week) and I hope at least one of my children will pick up on it. Ana sounds quite composed for her age!

Murr Brewster said...

It reminds me of the scene in "The Gold Rush" where Charlie Chaplin sets the table for his date and she never shows up. That one makes me cry, too.

Marie said...

So frustrating! But at least you had a clean house that twelve people didn't mess up. :)

I'm so sorry your foot still hurts. I've been terrible about keeping up with other blogs, but I actually was thinking about you and wondering how it was doing. I was hoping to read it was better. :(

Daughters are such a gift. :)

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