Day 264 — We woke up together today. My daughter was so delicious. We snuggled watching home renovation shows and then she asked me to french braid her hair.
As I braided her hair one last time before college, I remembered one of my most resentful moments as a working mother. She was 6 years old and begged me to put her long hair into french braids. Which I’d done many mornings before. But this time I was in a hurry with an early morning meeting. Then, in anticipation of the exact day I’m living today — I thought, “I will not always be the center of her universe, the wellspring of solutions to her every problem.” I put the car in park, got the kids into the lobby, kissed and squeezed my yummy boys and sent them off. Then I pulled her into the school office and got to braiding like my life depended on it.
So busy, I didn’t realize one of the women who worked there was speaking to me. I wish I’d stayed blissfully ignorant. Not wanting to be rude when I realized, I apologized, “I’m so sorry! What were you saying?” To which she replied, “It is good to see you taking an interest in spending time with your daughter! You’re even braiding her hair!”
Admittedly, my husband volunteered MANY hours as the school board chair. The school was having trouble making ends meet. Founded by his Grandfather, he was committed to saving it. As a result, it put me in a very difficult position as a working mother. So they saw a lot more of him than me.
So while my husband is working 24/7 to make sure this person has a paycheck, for which…being who he is…he takes no credit for the triumph achieved, you can IMAGINE what I thought at that moment. It was better that I stayed silent.
Resentment and regret are not pretty to live with. Just thinking about it f’ing exhausts me. Making this transformational work I’m doing for myself even more exigent.
Her father and I gave her a pep talk at lunch today. She began to cry as the time to leave her neared. I held her close and told her to be brave, cautioning her, “You are going to have to walk away from us.” Then she said, “Thank you mommy. Thank you for being here with me. I couldn’t have done it without you.” The tears were now mine.
As she left my husbands embrace, my husband whispered, “That was harder than I thought it would be.”
And I thought just the opposite.
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