For me feelings is the actual F word. I really don't like to talk about feelings. Nope. I don't.
But yesterday my daughter had her kindergarten end-of-the-year celebration. Kids love any reason to party and this reason, in my estimation, is a good one. School is almost out (yes, I'm one of the moms who can't wait, not one of the ones stocking up on alcohol to get me through the next couple of months).
So the celebration had what any six year old celebration has: juice, cupcakes, and just enough organization for it not to be totally chaotic.
Here's the thing. I was late. Really late. I had a doctor's appointment and traffic was bad and I was late. To make matters worse, I forgot the cookies. Seriously, what mom forgets the cookies? Needless to say, by the time I got to the party room I was willing myself not to blink so I wouldn't cry. I really hate
Even though I was late, I was just on time. You see, this group of 22 little balls of energy were gathered on the reading rug watching a video their kindergarten teacher made about them. Silly stories about what they want to be when they grow up (M said a cheerleader) and what they like to do in school (which one kids curtly replied, "nothing". It wasn't my kid. My kid wants to be a cheerleader and cheerleaders love school).
Anyhow, I'm watching these kids giggle and sigh and bounce around and it hit me. This memory of a billion years ago when I was one of those little balls of energy watching a slideshow (an actual slide show ... the kind with miniature pictures you hope aren't in upside down that you have to click through) my kindergarten teacher made about my class. "We Are The Children" was playing in the background ... on a tape recorder. There were pictures of me standing next to "Tessie Toothfairy"--the class mascot we got photos with when we lost a tooth. There was a picture of Brook's broken arm (I'm at least 48% at fault for the arm breaking. Gravity and a dangerously tall teeter-totter are also to blame). Mike. Jeremiah. Jessica. Casey. Karla. Jason. Kevin. Bylle-Jo, Billie, Daniel ... Oh how I remember the fun we had learning that S-S-S is for skunk and Q-Q-Q is for ... well, I don't remember what Q was for in kindergartner terms but it was probably quail. I'm not sure why we need Q in kindergarten.
I sat on a rug with my little friends oohing and ahhing and giggling over my class's collective cuteness but in the back of the room, there was a mom. My mom and she was fighting back tears. She loved that celebration. That slideshow. That song. She wrote a letter to Miss Mueller thanking her for all she had done to help me become such a big girl (total sidenote: when my mom was dying Miss Mueller scanned that letter and sent it to me in a Facebook message. She kept the letter for over 25 years. Words are powerful stuff. I can't express how I felt seeing those words--her words about me in her penmanship).
Watching M as my mom must have watched me, I lost the battle to those rouge tears in my eyes and I thought the thought I think so often. I wish my mom were here. She wouldn't have been late. She wouldn't have forgotten the cookies. She would have loved this celebration. Loved seeing M blossom into such an amazing future cheerleader.
These were my feelings though. My brokenness. M was fine--so happy I was there (so excited they'd get to eat the cookies for snack on Tuesday since it was too late to dish them out now). The truth is I remember loving MY mom being at my celebration. Sure it would have been nice if my grandmothers had attended too but my memories are of my mom. And she was there.
While I wish my mom was at M's celebration with me yesterday, I know for my daughter, one day she'll be glad I was there for her. Even though this was an "I wish my mom were here" moment for me, for M, I'm so glad it will be an "I'm so glad my mom was there crying at that silly video" moment. Even if I was late.
|It's tiny but this is the letter addressed to Miss Mueller from my mom after my kindergarten celebration. I still get goose bumps when I see this. Words live long, dear friends.|