So my kid is basically the best. She inspires me all the time, but this morning, she inspired me specifically to write a post about how soulful she is.
I started an email account for Olivia when she was a baby, with the intention of sending her little love notes, funny memories, pictures, and words of encouragement that can resonate with her whether she is 8 or 18. My plan is to share the password to this account with her when she becomes a young adult.
It will be like a treasure chest full of bounty to be discovered. It will let her know that all those times, I
too busy (working, cooking, cleaning, single-parenting) she was always a
motivation. It might alleviate some of the parental guilt I have about not
being “present” enough.
So often at night, after begging her to quit tossing, lay down, and go the fuck to sleep, it is after she finally drifts off, and I have the time to catch my breath, wind down, and finish all the tasks from my to-do list that eluded me throughout the day that I experience an overwhelming urge to wake her up and say NOW. I’m ready to play now. I’m ready to pay attention now. I’m ready to listen, really listen now (one of my favorite scenes from the movie Away We Go is when Verona makes Burt promise to really listen to their child ).
I'm rambling– back to the email account.
I really am writing this blog entry to share with you (and one day with her) a little moment that become a big moment for me last night.
Liv’s dad dropped her off and she said she had a surprise for me. Actually, what she really said was “Ms. Kleis said not to give this to you until Sunday (Mother’s Day), but I knew you’d check and empty my backpack after school so I’m giving it to you now.”
1) This made me sort of sad that there is not another parental figure here to help her mount these types of unveiling on days when she is told she is “supposed” to.
2) It made me feel great that she knows I take an interest in what she spends her school days doing - that, I do, in fact read the 500 pages of communication the school seems to send home daily in that backpack.
Olivia then presented me with a book about the many “hats I wear as a mom” where she filled in her answers to some prompts. Two of my favorites are pictured below:
"My mom is a chef. She makes the best ever >>> mettballs."
I think it is hilarious that she wrote mettballs as if I make these from scratch. They are the precooked kind that you throw in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. She also was kind enough to add that I make good "bagels" too. (I need that crying/laughing emoji here).
"My mom is a coach. She encourages me to >>> be beav."
To be fair, I stole this from the show tune "I Whistle A Happy Tune" from the The King and I. I constantly tell Liv "You may be as brave as you make believe you are" (or something close to that).
She then presented me with a flower pot she decorated with twelve flowers (strips of construction paper folded to look like buds) tucked inside. As I unwrapped each bud, I saw that she had written a special message on them (I love reading kid’s spelling of words – extra points for you if you can translate some of these): “Thak you for helping when I was sick.” “I love you becuse you are bettyful.” “I love you because youre funny.” “I loved It when we did siseininspeerment“. “I like it when you giggl.” “My favorite thig about you is you always thir.”
Lessons learned here: I need to giggle more and do more science experiments with her.
I started tearing up and she looked up at me – so seriously and said – “ahhhh, Mom,” reaching out to put her hand on mine. She continued, “On some of them I got so carried away with writing nice things about you that I wrote on the back too, even though we weren’t supposed to - so then I had to erase them.”
I mean, best kid ever right?!
Maybe the moment for me was so big because in her own sweet way she did for me what I hope the secret email account does for her – serve as a reminder that we matter, that we are appreciated, that we are loved, and that even our quirks hold value to the people who know us the best.