“Mommy can I take piano lessons?”
I consider this request. I would like her to take piano lessons, but we have no piano. It seems unreasonable that I should go buy one. She suggests a keyboard. Even still. We’ve done dance, gymnastics, acting lessons, soccer and girl scouts. We participate in swimming and drama. Can’t I just let myself off the hook, piano-wise?
The other day, I was folding laundry when a commercial for paper towels came on. The mother just smiles as her daughter “helps” her by sloshing a ridiculously full bowl of soup across the kitchen to the dining room table. Mommy smiles as she notes that her daughter likes to help. Mommy is unfazed as she reaches for a paper towel.
I instantly hate the overly patient Bounty mommy, certain that there are real Bounty mommies everywhere and I am definitely not one. I would have shut down the whole soup carrying thing before she even took a step. I bet Bounty mommy even cooked the soup with her daughter. Meh.
I feel like the Queen of Hurry Up, You Have To and How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You. It’s a kingdom where my minions are Disappointment, Guilt, Remorse and Regret. I know I am not alone in this kingdom. It just feels like it.
I yell sometimes. My expectations are high. I have little patience. A lot of times, I don’t feel like listening to her stories. I cook a real dinner 2-3 times a week. I am on my phone too much. I should make her put her iPod away more. No, your bathing suit isn’t clean for camp. We should be working out together. I need to sign us up for some yoga classes. Yes yes, that would be fun and not at all challenging to fit into our packed schedule. Why aren’t we eating nice summer dinners on the patio more. We watch too much TV. I don’t like getting up in the evening to tuck her in. That is lame.
The other day, out of the blue—
Hannah: I’m proud of the life you made. Even though things didn’t go as you planned, you picked yourself up and built a nice life. You don’t live off of anyone. You did it yourself.
Me: If there was someone to live off of, I would.
Hannah: I’m trying to have a moment here.
And those are the moments when I know I’m doing more good than harm. I smile to myself.