If you have checked out the only remaining copy of "How to be the Perfect Mother" I really need to borrow it.
Most days, I realized, I keep my daughters' health and welfare constantly in a corner of my mind. I go from thinking we will travel the world while they are still young enough to "enjoy" my company. No, I will save every penny and send them to the best college. No, wait, I will quit my job and join a kibbutz and we will grow together. No, wait, we will be so thankful for all we have and be thrilled to maintain the life we now have. No, we will go to Chinese school. No, maybe we will travel to China and help out at one of the orphanages or travel to Africa so it won't make them uncomfortable. I know we will take weekend trips and see as much as we can in as short a period as we can. I know we will join the museum, no, we will take art lessons, no music, no cooking!
So you see my mind is a very busy place and this is while trying to deal with the AARP Safe Driving group needing a room, a TV/DVD player, bingo group needing a key to get the prizes, and trying to offset a complaint that is escalating to the president of the hospital, VERY quickly!
As I drive to the school, I rehearse interesting things to discuss, what we will have for dinner, and really looking forward to being "family" to end our day.
Real life jumps right in sometimes and even before I can put the car from park to drive, Vesuvius erupts!
Annabel had a hard day. Her lunch caught on fire. This is when I am SO glad I still make them sit in the backseat because I am quite amused at her insistence that her lunch caught fire. She likes to take ramen noodles and for some reason put them in the microwave to cook with the foil backed lid on them. Yes, I am sure there was some sparking, but she was able to buy her lunch, and still had her extra treats.
Maybe I did not realize how terrible this event really was and as soon as we tried to change the subject, she made sure we did understand that this was REAL TRAUMA!
I interrupted and said no one could talk the rest of the way home.
While my oil needs to be changed desperately, I also know the weather forecasters are predicting a lot of rain the next few days, so I opted to take them home instead so they could play outside.
Here is where I made my worst mistake.
Outside???? What are we supposed to do?
Walk the dogs????
2 seconds later the dogs were brought back from their "walk".
Can't we come in now???
So in trying to find some balance and the right way to handle things, I busy myself with some projects trying to listen carefully to hear the right words to say.
I have no background in being the mom of a "regular" family, where there is the dad and birth children. Now that is how I was raised, but, make no mistake, being the daughter and being the mom are two completely different roles. So I never know if part of "our" issues are due to their backgrounds, their lack of nurturing when they were very young, the lack of touch, of voice, of love and caring, or if they are just normal kids who can misbehave and pout and shout.
We had a talk. Oh how I hated those growing up! Maybe I should do more of them.
Anyway, I digress.
I explained that the three of us are family and when all else is said and done, we have to be there for each other, we have to be the ones who cheer or cry, but we always have to be there because we will be a family forever. Nothing will ever change that.