Monday, December 10, 2007

Graceful Anna

My daughter has been practicing, practicing, practicing for this weekend's big ballet recital, but that is not the reason for today's title.

Mondays are a big "chore" day for me, and with the holiday season, I had a full agenda today. This morning I woke up, full of mental lists, starting the first load of laundry before breakfast, scooting everyone out the door in plenty of time while thinking two or three steps ahead.

I must've been a little distracted... anyway, I ended up driving nearly all the way to Colin's school (starts at 8 am) instead of dropping Anna off first - her school begins at 7:45 am! I was sitting a LONG time at a red light before I realized my mistake and then was making a tricky U-turn on the busy main street of our little burg.

"I am so sorry, Anna! I don't know what I was thinking! I certainly hope you don't get a tardy - it is all my fault!" I shouted to her over my shoulder.

Anna simply smiled at me and said, "That's OK, Mommy. You just made a mistake."

Wow, now I felt an avalanche of guilt in addition to my tardy worry. Anna certainly makes many mistakes, often the same ones I did at her age (forgetfulness, clumsiness, and especially the tendency to hoard everything and just shove it all in a drawer!). I see myself in her, and though I start out each day with good intentions about patiently teaching her how to focus and be more organized, I am afraid I am usually short-tempered. I don't often show her the kindness she was now giving to me. I still need to help her with her short-comings, but I can do it with more respect for her as a person.

Fortunately, she squeaked in before the tardy bell, and apparently had a good day.

Later I picked her up from school to go to ballet, and on our way out one of her classmates from last year ran up and gave her a big hug. "I miss you, Anna!" she said.

"Hi, K.," I said, "How is your mom doing?" Her mom had a brain tumor, and brought K. to Anna's birthday party last March. By May she was in a wheelchair.

"Oh, she died." K. said casually, in that kid-coping kind of way.

"Oh honey, I am so sorry! I didn't know!" I told her. Anna just looked at her friend, then gave her another big hug.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I now have tears in my eyes! My first read of the day and it is a wonderful reminder to me of how grateful I am for all my family - especially during this season!

I am very thankful for our little angel, Anna, and for you, sweet Jennifer.
Love, Nana

Emily said...

Oh, I remember K.'s mom. I spoke to her a lot at Anna's party. I can't imagine what she must have been going through, knowing she had to leave her daughter.

Anna does have such a sweet spirit. And don't beat yourself up for being short-tempered or impatient. You're a great mom.

peevish said...

I can't really add anything to what Emily & Nana said. But I sympathize with all of it. We miss you all.