Isn’t it funny how, sometimes, you get exactly what you need at exactly the time you need it? That happened to me this week.
It started with a few days off with my amazing kid.
Monday, we took off to Detroit and visited Aunt Rachel and her family. We celebrated a fifth birthday. I became a BFF to Audrey. I had ‘coffee talk’ over a Diet Dr. Pepper with Rachel while the kids played with the bajillion birthday presents. I took Connor for his first visit to Trader Joe’s, aka TJ’s, aka the only place to buy peanut butter; and then through the U of M campus. I was trying to explain the concept of college students living on campus … that kids get to an age where they would actually prefer to live apart from their parents. He seriously could.not.get.it. He inquired, “Why would a kid not want to live with his mom and dad? Oh, hey, look at that kid … he is definitely twenty years old. But who tells him what to do?” His sweetness was exactly what I needed.
Tuesday, I made Connor a delicious homemade breakfast … eggs, sausage and even pancakes. He said it wasn’t fit for a king, but GOD! High praise from the child who prefers McD’s hot cakes, indeed. As I ate with him, I started singing my fave song (it was on TV) and he said, “No, mom, this isn’t my home … my home is in your heart.” Hello, water works.
We went to the bowling alley, cried over who wins and loses (he did, to be clear), ate a Subway picnic at the park and found a pigeon we were sure had strayed from the zoo. We found our way to an antique store and wandered around for a good twenty-five minutes as Connor impressed me with his very-similar-to-mine sense of humor. “Mom, mom, you have to come see this … it’s sooooo adorable.” I walked to the booth he was peeking in to see this oh-so-adorable item and was surprised to see a skull with spikes painted on to a bag. “Um, Connor, that is not adorable.” Then we shared a good laugh. Later, we made a quick stop at Grandpa and Grandma’s house and I got a hug from my momma. It was exactly what I needed.
Wednesday was our last day together and we invited Alyssa and Lindsey to go to the museum with us. There was a “Game On” exhibit so the kids played with life-sized chess pieces,
cried over competed at air hockey and skee ball, and Connor beat me up on an old arcade-style Marvel Comics game. The best part was we didn’t have to add tokens to play anything (Oh, and there were no annoying tickets leading to super-lame prizes. Sorry, can I say that?).
After our trip to the museum, the ‘childrens’ (as I kept referring to them) and I stopped at my favorite little boutique in Grand Rapids … Rebel.Reclaimed. I found an adorable bedside table that found its way into my backseat (because it wouldn’t fit in the trunk). We stopped for lunch and put the table in the front so the childrens crowded into the back to avoid anyone being stabbed by a table leg. I love flexible childrens. Connor’s first grade open house was that evening so we found his new classroom, seat, mailbox, coat hook, designated reading areas and a special shell that he could take home. I felt so proud of my grown-up boy. It was exactly the way I needed our few days together to conclude.
I knew Thursday would be tough. I’d been off from work for a few days. But, I hit the ground running as best I could. At some point during the day, my good friend passed along a blog post from a woman I hadn’t read before. I saw the title and decided to save it for later … it was about failure. My day didn’t end (at work) until just shy of seven and I knew I had more to do when I got home. Instead of jumping right back into it, I went for an 8-mile bike ride. I got home and it felt like I still had so much time so I worked some more; processed some photos and finally, read the post. Oh.my.goodness. The title was, “dear sweet mom who feels like she is failing.” The first line read, “You’re not.” Anyone who is a mom; who spends any time second-guessing the way she’s raising her kid(s); who has been subjected to negativity about her choices (whether it’s staying at home, or working, or nursing, or whatever …) must.read.this. Please. It was exactly what I needed.
Then, today, a friend I hadn’t seen all week gave me a hug as she was rushing out for a lunch meeting … because she said she missed me. It was exactly what I needed.
Just a bit ago, another friend responded to a message I’d sent her on Facebook and said she loved how I check in just when she needs it. It feels like a cycle, doesn’t it? Here’s hoping you get exactly what you need today, and that you can also give someone else exactly what they need. Isn’t that how it should be? I’m sure grateful for what others gave me this week … it was exactly what I needed.