Anna got out of the car this morning and headed into school limp and broken-hearted. She didn’t start out that way. She was bright-eyed and happy and chatty when she woke up. The soul crush was delivered by me. I was putting her report card into her book bag when I noticed all her art work crumpled up and shoved in between books, and some at the very bottom of the bag.
I did the mom spazz and gave her a ration of shit the size of Texas.
Some of my words were: ridiculous, disappointed, you may as well have put them in the trash, how are we supposed to hang these or frame them?
She stood there paralyzed, and we stared at each other while I waited for an explanation for this DEFCON 5 catastrophic art destruction.
“I only liked the Gluten Boy one. Look Mom, it’s not wrinkled.”
Like every ass hole parent committed to standing their ground, all I said was, “well, hurry up and get in the car before you’re late.”
On the way home the good parent in me thought:
It’s paper. Who gives a shit? It’s still in one piece, it will still go in her Art box, and when was the last time we hung or framed a piece of her art work anyway? It’s still beautiful I bet, which I would have known to be true if I had spent a fraction of the time admiring her creativity as I had admonishing her for not delivering it home in Smithsonian condition.
Then I thought about the people I know from a distance who have children with physical challenges. If and when their children are able to put a piece of paper into a book bag, and zip it back up again, no matter how crinkled it was, they would be filled with overwhelming gratitude and hope.
I wish I had thought of that this morning before I said those dumb words with my mean mouth. I also wish I had remembered to congratulate her again for earning straight A’s, and “excellent” across the board for her conduct in the classroom.
More than anything, I wish I hadn’t sucked the life out of her with a completely unnecessary expectation.
And now, on the heels of that charming display of love and affection, I’m taking my bunny to his 9:30am appt. to have his balls removed.