Opinion: Window of chance surpises daughter during Field Day
Many nights I go to bed thinking I am a mediocre mom, but every once in a while, I orchestrate a magical parenting moment and receive at least some validation that my children won’t be in therapy long. I experienced one of those times today, so take note. There may not be another for two to six months.
My youngest was participating in field day, and had begged my husband to come see her in just one event. His schedule was tight though, and it would be a miracle if he could take two conference calls, pick up the dog from the kennel, monitor our feverish son staying home from school, and remember to feed himself. Even for a talented multitasker, which I wouldn’t necessarily call Doo, the morning wouldn’t be busy. Trying to squeeze in a drive-by to watch our daughter jump rope at 10:07 a.m. would possibly have him in Cuckoo-ville by noon.
I did what I could to appease my own guilt of missing her big day. I had tucked her in the night before with “Have fun!” and “Don’t forget your sunscreen!” That morning, I packed her a special lunch, and covered the brown-paper bag with well-wishes. As I drove off to work though, I still felt miserable. She’d probably be the only kid without a cheering parent.
But when I got to my school and looked at the tweaked schedule for final exams, I realized that my prep period would coincide with an extended lunch, giving me approximately ninety minutes of absolutely no teacher responsibility whatsoever. Hot damn! I called Doo, told him my plan, and went to work figuring out how to play hooky. (The secretary had my cell in case of a math emergency, but for whatever reason, when the bell rang, I rushed out with my head down and sunglasses on, hoping to blend with the throng of students should someone check the video feed!)
By the grace of God, I arrived at my daughter’s school about five minutes before her 200 yard dash. When she saw me, the smile on her face was absolutely brilliant. She finished 6th, just shy of a ribbon, and on the next race, a relay, earned a third. I was only there 25 minutes, but was able to give lots of high fives and “I’m so proud of yous!” As I hugged her to say goodbye, she replied, “Thank you so much for coming to my field day, Mommy!”
And thank you, my darling Maddie, for reminding me what’s important, and for letting me sometimes be a good mom. Peace out.