“To the left, to the left, everything you own in a box to the left,” my bundle of fierceness and I sang together on the way to school this morning. I could hear my eight year-old rolling his eyes in the back seat. Yes, the satellite radio is back – it took a vacation for reasons unknown – and so this morning my daughter was again the DJ on our morning drive. Beyoncé is back in the car.
“In the closet that’s my stuff. Yes, if I bought it, please don’t touch,” the Fiercenesses harmonize, mine wagging her finger as if performing for the rearview mirror.
An unexpected tear. Then another. How did this bundle of confidence emerge into my passenger seat? She is a force of nature – the metaphorical healthy garden patch I plan to leave behind when my time on this mortal coil is wrapped. Perfect in her imperfections, striving for so much –things I hope she’ll discover and excel at and tragic lessons I hope she can avoid. She is mine. Engulfed in a quilt of unconditional love, fueled by a confidence I pray will not become arrogance. She goes off into the world with loving tears staining my cheek, ready to tell all her story. I am in awe. I drive off in a puddle of pride.
“What?” quizzes my husband.
“It was her turn to bring snacks to her Advisory [aka Homeroom] TODAY, the first Advisory snack of the year.” I shriek.
“We have enough Clementines,” my husband offers tremulously. Right. I’m going to be the mom who shows up with tangerines for the end-of-week snack. Well, at least then I wouldn’t have to worry about my daughter’s self esteem morphing into arrogance. Or our relationship ever again resembling anything approximating close.
“I can do it.” And off I race.
Green. I am ‘in flow’ – and so is traffic. Then construction. Frustration. Irrational panic. Each second ticks by with a ‘dong’ worthy of Big Ben striking midnight ringing in my head. A kind soul lets me in… to the left lane. And I’m off again.
“We have Snickers. Peanut M&Ms,” says the kindly gas station clerk. I damn my daughter’s nut allergy. “There are others in the cooler,” he says in response to my horrified frown.
15 over-priced King Sized Kit Kat bars later and I’m off again. Park. Run. Up stairs. Up stair after stair after huffing-and-puffing stair (later my app tells me that the journey took only six minutes burning only 15 calories… another reason why I’m still fat – ah, self loathing… but that’s fodder for another post). Turn right, run a few more steps and there they are; 15 tweens who are actually glad to see me…. Or the Kit Kat box I’m carrying (I bought out the entire gas station supply).
Kids smile. They thank me. My daughter hugs me with a huge grin. I am Rocky on top of the Philadelphia Museum steps. I am the Champion of the World, my friend. I am Irreplaceable.
No, not in that ‘put -more-money-in-the-kids’-therapy-fund sorta way. I am ‘irreplaceable’ in a good way, the way that only showing up with 15 King Sized Kit Kat bars can garner. I hope that the other 14 parents in the class won’t leave me, “standing in the front yard/tellin’ me, how I’m such a fool.” But so be it if they do. I don’t care. I am a hero in my Fierceness’ eyes. I am the beloved, cool mother. I rock. I am the rockin’ cool-sugar-supplying-mom. I love motherhood today.
Tomorrow will come. Tomorrow I will nag, cajole, beg her to push herself to be better than she thinks she can be. Tomorrow I will be that bitch about whom eyes roll. But today I’m too cool for school. A middle-aged woman who raises her arms in victory randomly for the rest of the day. Today I was the hero mother who was loved – and irreplaceable … even if it’s for all the wrong, sugary reasons. Screw yesterday. Fuck tomorrow. I’ll take today. Today rocks.