(Today a wonderful Facebook group that I’m a part of hosted a five-minute writing challenge. The theme: the last time you looked in a mirror. I liked what I wrote, so I’m sharing it here, along with a couple of related stories.)
“PULL MY SLEEVES UP MAMA”
“Okay my dear, here you go”
As I pull pink flowery sleeves up to sweet chubby elbows, I catch a glimpse of a face that looks just like my mother’s. I see my messy bun. And I see my eyes rolling.
I realise that she, too, sees my eyes rolling.
She, too, sees through my false patience.
She, too, knows that her Mama feels overwhelmed by her big feelings and loud demands.
So I stop my eyes, mid-roll. I grab a big fluffy towel. “The towelosaurus is coming to get you! Rrrooooarrrr.”
Her giggles echo through the bathroom as I catch her into a big towelosaurus hug.
I’m not perfect, but we’re going to be okay.
Speaking of being imperfect, I’ve been finding the adjustment to our first winter for aaaaages quite difficult. I’m staying inside too much. Spending too much time online. And The Campground Kid is following my lead too much for my liking. She’s like a little mirror, and all too often she shines a light on all the habits that I’d rather keep in the dark.
So when my little homebody asked me to take her on a walk to the digger (we were having some work done on the park), of course I said yes.
She brought her teddy too.
We walked around the park. She climbed the digger. We ran down hills. I took photos.
It was simple and wonderful and exactly why we came home.
Sometimes her little toddler mirror shines on the things I don’t want to admit. Other times it lights up the things I didn’t know she had noticed.
A few months ago, in an effort to encourage The Campground Kid to talk about her day, we started a little dinnertime routine. We take turns talking about times that we were happy/sad/scared/frustrated/excited. It’s new, so mostly Campground Papa and I take turns and The Campground Kid just gives her stock “What did you do today?” answer of “Played inside and outside!”
But the other day, in the middle of dinner, she turned to Campground Papa, and with a quizzical little face she asked “What made you happy today, Papa?”
And after he answered, she turned to me and said “Nice curry. Thanks, Mama!”
We may not be perfect, but we’re going to be okay.