Mommypants Moment – It isn’t about me
Today’s poster for Mommypants Moment is Nichole from In These Small Moments. You may also know her as my new partner in crime at The Red Dress Club. Nichole might possibly be one of the nicest people out in the blogosphere, always encouraging and kind. Her writing is lovely and has moved me to tears with its beauty and honesty.
It Isn’t About Me
I brush her honey-golden hair into a smooth ponytail and secure it with a pale blue satin ribbon. I help into her black unitard, one long, gazelle-like leg at a time.
She’s just three. But her legs are shockingly lean and strong.
I fill her favorite water bottle, blue with polka dots, help her put on her shoes and jacket.
I talk to her about gymnastics. I encourage her to try her best, to listen to Miss Brittany, and most importantly, to have fun.
She hurriedly nods, flashes me a ready smile, and reaches for her daddy’s hand, barely containing her preschooler enthusiasm.
And I stay home. And my heart truly aches.
This isn’t how I imagined it would be.
I had always dreamed of having a daughter. I longed for all things pink. When we learned that we were to be blessed with a baby girl, I cried. Not sweet, tender tears, but huge, snotty, sobbing tears. My joy was beyond measure.
As a little girl, I would have given absolutely anything to have had the opportunity to take gymnastics classes with my friends, but we had no extra money for such indulgences. Each week, I heard about the skills that they had learned, the goals yet to be achieved, and I would have had to be blind not to notice the closeness and camaraderie that blossomed between them, a circle of shared experience of which I was always on the fringe.
I swore that when I had a daughter, she would have the opportunity to take gymnastics. I longed for her to know what I never did. Isn’t that what we all want for our children? More than we had? And the thought of being there to watch her experience it all just thrilled me.
When she was finally old enough to begin taking classes, we signed her up for Saturday mornings so that we could go as a family. And for months, that’s exactly what we did. Those first somersaults elated me, those jumps on the trampoline transported me.
But, I came to realize that I shouldn’t be there. Not for now, anyway.
Her daddy misses her so much during the week that his ache is visible. He is gone from 8-6 each day, and I am home. He gets both kids up each day, collecting and savoring those precious, early-morning tender moments. And at the end of each day, he comes home, gathers them up, and envelopes them in love, play, and giggles until bedtime. His love for them astonishes me, even after all this time.
But, how could that possibly be enough? How can you squeeze enough out of a half an hour each morning and an hour and a half each night?
So, as much as it hurt, I took a huge step back. I put on my “mommy pants” and considered what is best for Katie, and ultimately her daddy. I told them that they should make it daddy-daughter morning, as they needed time to share something special, something unique to them.
Now, I prepare her, encourage her, and wave goodbye as they drive away.
And I am remarkably at peace with that.
When they come home, she is simply bursting with joy and recounts everything she did, every skill she worked on, how happy it made her to look over and see her daddy watching, encouraging, and connecting. Knowing that he is there and that she truly matters to him is the ultimate gift. I ask a million questions, and eagerly and excitedly watch the videos that her daddy captures, just for me.
I remember how much I wanted this when I was a child and my heart swells to the point of near bursting.
And the lasting smile on her face tells me that this special time? This morning with her daddy? Is what she needs more than anything.
It isn’t about me. And it hasn’t been since the day we learned that she would grace our lives.
I don’t mind these mommy pants so much. They’re much comfier and far more forgiving than I thought they’d be.
Please hop over to Nichole’s place to read my guest post over there for Nichole’s Small Moments Monday.