“Happy Father’s Day, Mama” says Charlie, as she gives me a morning hug right out of bed.
“Oh, thank you, honey” I reply, as Daddy covers his giggling mouth behind her.
Last night we were sitting at the dinner table, Charlie and I, eating macaroni and cheese and green beans. Usually I talk to Charlie about school, ask her how her day was, who she played with, etc.
“Well….” I sigh, and kind of drift the tone of my voice off, leaving it to hang with question.
“Were you going to say something to me?” she asks, in her tiny voice.
“Huh?” I ask, taken by surprise due to the definitiveness of her question and train of thought.
“Were you going to say something to me?” she asks, again, in the same tone, like she was helping me finish my thought.
“Oh, uh, yeah, I wanted to talk with you but wanted to know what you wanted to talk about. Was there anything you wanted to talk about?” I ask.
“Umm… school?” she asks, because that’s usually what we talk about.
“Yeah, did you have a good day at school? What did you do?”
“Yes, I did, I played with my friends,” she told me. The following conversation became pretty typical, consisting of her friends, playing, laughing, singing.
I try and discover the things about Charlie that I don’t know. It’s easy to get into a routine and take her for granted and assume that she’ll do this and I’ll say that and caring for her requires constant disciplining, bathing, feeding and Pull-up changing. We are mother and daughter, yet sisters and roommates all at the same time. We love, we fight, we challenge and snap at one another. We love each other, very much. We are co-dependant as we yearn for our independence. We are defined by one another and yet still make changes to ourselves while around each other. She’s a mixture of pleasure, defiance and gold stars. I’m not sure how or why she switches from sweet to sour so quickly, completely disregarding any sort of positive progress we may have made. I’m snippy and snide, at times when she doesn’t realize I have buttons being pushed, I may come across as in the wrong. She brushes it off, doesn’t even blink and I realize that she’ll be apologizing to me one day for how terrible she was as a teenager. We have a lot of years ahead of us, Ms. Charlie. How can we appreciate the days we will want to have back so bad? Crafts…. flowers…. a rock garden…. naps and hot baths. The more we can appreciate the time we have in general, sometimes away from each other, other times doing things we both find enjoyable, the more we will appreciate the time we have together. I’m, actually, only talking about myself here. Charlie will grow up to be the woman she wants to be and will attribute her positive qualities to her mother…. and, if I can help it, she won’t associate any of her negative ones with flashbacks of a relationship with me. We will both change into a handful of different people from now until Charlie is my age, for that, all will be forgiven.
Charlie, you just woke up and I’m watching the Sisterhood Traveling Pants 2 movie. You said you wanted to go to a restaurant, because the girls on the show were at one. I asked you if you wanted to go to the craft store. “Noo…” you replied. Then, you aid, “My mommy.” You always say that 🙂