This weeks theme: Whining.

Today my daughter had yet another perfect attendance awards ceremony at school.  I keep threatening to keep her home one day, whether she’s sick or not, so I will not have to attend these terribly boring ceremonies, but I have yet to follow through with the threat.  So she’s had perfect attendance all school year.  And I had a ceremony to attend in the cafeteria.  (Damn it.)

Today, however, the ceremony was set to begin at exactly the time I am scheduled to drop the children I babysit off at preschool.  I mean, at EXACTLY the same time.  And so while I was 15 minutes away, her class was filing into the cafeteria, each child taking their seats and waiting for their name to be called so they could take their place on the stage.

I told my daughter I was going to be late.  I told her I WOULD be there, but I wouldn’t be able to be there on time.  “It’s okay,” she said, “I don’t usually go until last, anyway.”  I knew that I probably wouldn’t see her on stage, but I secretly hoped I would make my way into the cafeteria just before her name was called.  I think she was secretly hoping for the same thing.

But — and you knew this was coming — I didn’t make it until after they all had already finished.  One of the other parents whispered to me that she was just coming off the stage when they saw me walking down the hall.  So I missed her by mere seconds.  (Damn it.)

I could see her looking around for me when they were getting up to go back to their classrooms.  She didn’t see me come into the room, and she was desperately searching for me.  My heart broke, right then and there.  I went up to her and gave her a big hug and kiss.  And I think I may have promised to buy her a pony because I felt THAT BAD.

And here’s where I bring this all back around to me working.  I don’t want to have to work at some menial job that keeps me away from my children.  I want to be there with my big smile whenever they need me.  Because all of their lives, I have been there.  And, dammit, I don’t want to start NOT being there.  I don’t want my child to be the one who spends their time looking around the room, desperately searching for a parent that they are secretly hoping will show up, even when they said they couldn’t.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by grampa Jim on 04/16/2008 at 3:31 pm

    Welcome to parenthood. There is no skill required nor any skill learned before hand. They come with no directions and frequently break down. Can’t return (even if their not completely paid for) and seems to never be any recalls.
    We do what we can. Hope that it helps and that they grow up without too many hurts or disappointments. Most will and we hope that our kids are in that group. Sometimes we can’t always be there. Yes, it hurts you when you can’t. You might be surprised just how much they do understand. Especially the ones that know they are loved and wanted. Your kids are in that group.


  2. Posted by lindsey on 04/17/2008 at 1:19 pm

    I teared up reading your post today (which doesn’t usually take much) because I know exactly what you are feeling. I refuse to get a job because I want to be there for every important moment. I am going to be one of “those” crazy mom’s who is at EVERY event and helps at school and all that stuff because I already have seperation anxiety about he girls going off to school and it’s a couple years away. It just seems to all go too fast and I don’t want to blink for fear I’ll miss some grand moment. Being a parent is so wonderful but man, can I be any more stressed???? E knows you were disappointed in yourself for not being there and she, whether she knows it or not, appreciates that fact. You love your kids and that’s all you can do sometimes. Did that all make sense, or did I ramble again??


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