This past weekend I was grouchy. I'm at the hardest part of my half-marathon training, so I'm tired physically a lot. We just had a week solid of sultry, sweaty days and thick summer nights. Labor Day means the neighborhood pools closed, it means the end of summer, it means looking ahead and jam-packed schedules and my husband's weekday travel and early-morning choir runs. It means it will get cold again, and I hate being cold more than any other weather scenario. Freezing drizzle. I hate freezing drizzle.
Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama.
I know every parent has this recording running in the background of their lives, and usually my patience is good. Decent, at least. But coming off two weeks of solid husband-traveling-back-to-schooling-work-is-crazying chaos, my patience: She is so depleted. My patience packed her bags on Friday and walked out the damn door for a long Vegas weekend.
So I snapped when my girl waited until I was out of earshot (not hard, my hearing is getting worse and worse) and then asked some question that I didn't answer over and over and over. I didn't want to underdog on the swing eighty times. I didn't feel like going over to look at the shiny thing she found at the street fest.
I. Just. Wanted. To. Be. Alone.
Then I remembered the article she just turned in for her junior reporter role at a local magazine. It was a list of guidelines for trick-or-treaters. All the things I've been drilling into her head for the past eleven years were there, and when I emailed the piece to her editor, I felt the shock of "she's so grown up" reverberate down my spine.
But she does still need me. Or at least, she still wants me, and what am I doing? Swatting her away like the sweat running down my cheeks on the summer days I'll mourn the first time I have to wear socks.
Why can't I appreciate what I have when I have it?
Just a reminder, Rita. You're still her mama.
MAMA. MAMA. MAMA.