Monday, April 12, 2010

Lessons From Nora

As the evening grew later and later my stomach filled with knots thinking about our afternoon. I'm not exaggerating when I say it was a horrible day; one of those days no mom truly wants to do over, but rather wishes she could just erase. It was a beautiful afternoon, and with that, the girls and I spent it outside. I worked on the landscaping around the house, they played. And they fought. They cried. Then the dog got out, and if you know our dog the chase can mean hours of misery. With the help of a neighbor it wasn't, but nonetheless it sent my heart racing and my anxiety into overdrive. Then there was the double-knee digger Abby took that tenderized both of her bony little knees. I was hot, crabby & full of complaints. Before the day was done the writing was on the wall, and it was literally written in poop.

While most of the exchanges and reprimands were uncomfortably staged out in the yard, they spilled over into our house of open windows. I was sure each and every neighbor within earshot deemed me an unfit parent by night's end.

But today I met Nora. Sweet little Nora. We arrived at gymnastics with time to spare, so after I got Lauren ready I took my usual place at the top of the bleachers. I'm always annoyed by the children who use the bleachers as their playground, so at first I was happy to see Nora's mom attentive to her playing ways. Nora had no sooner gotten a foot on the first bench when her mother laid into her. Hard core, she was bawling out her child. The parents and children fell silent as she sunk her anger into the preschooler, then hauled her out of the building. By this time I was certain my own disciplinary shortcomings had nothing on this mom; my girls were frozen stiff in their seats, probably afraid for their lives.

I don't know what kind of mother Nora's mom really is, this is the first time I've seen her. She seemed to get along well with the other moms, and was certainly into keeping up her social calendar.

Thanks to Nora and her mom I indulged in deep self reflection. Maybe I don't do enough socializing or otherwise for myself. But at least, on most days, I am doing right by my kids. Although if you ask Abby, she may have a different opinion. Those poop smears earned her a week without dessert, movies, or her shows.

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{About Me}

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Fairborn, Ohio, United States
I'm a teacher by trade, writer at heart & mom in every sense of my being. I never considered writing as a profession, but after I got married and began moving around the country, I began sharing my adventures, misadventures & updates through a sort of e-mail newsletter. I found a true passion in unconventional story-telling that has followed me into motherhood.