“Mom, do you think you can have lunch with me since all the moms do it and you’re the only one that hasn’t… but if you can’t, it’s ok, maybe another day.”
This obviously worked… I rushed to work and rushed out (Flash style) just in time to pick up a couple of In & Out burgers and one chocolate shake. I made it to her school in time (thankfully), and as I waited, parents poured in in droves, dropping off all kinds of lunches from all the local favorite restaurants, and ½ of them were staying to eat with their children. The kid was right; I was the only parent that hadn’t had lunch with her child. I felt bad for 2.5 seconds. I know how much love I pack into her lunch almost daily, and how hard I work for her to even be at that school. However, this led me to thinking, “How important should we make our children feel?” I want Elle to know how much she is loved and how important she is to me, but I also want her to know that she is not the center of my world (even though I know it may seem like it). I try to attend all her events, but I also want her to have realistic expectations for others. People will let you down, even the ones that love you the most, because we are all human and no one is perfect. I want her to just brush it off and remain happy and content within herself, no audience needed.
My mother was very involved, but she worked a ton. I remember her missing important school functions, but I seldom recall being disappointed. Now, as an adult, I understand more than ever. She never made excuses or apologies, it was what it was. That in itself was golden. I was the only child at the time, but it wasn’t only about me. Not to toot my own horn, but one of the main reasons I think I’m so happy is that I don’t take things personally or feel any which way about every little thing. I’m a sensible person, but not sensitive. I get over things very quickly and forgive and forget. I hope my children inherit this.
I want my children to know they matter, and to realize how incredibly important they are, but I also want them to know that so are others, and sometimes something has to give, and that something, at times, will be them. This doesn’t impact their worth or value. I think the key in achieving this is giving them security and confidence in themselves with a heavy dose of thick skin. I don’t let Elle cry a lot or stay upset, I usually make her snap out of it, and I certainly don’t let her dwell on bad days or incidents. I don’t brush them under the rug, we address and move on, and that’s just how we roll.
After the lunch incident, I decided to try have lunch with her a few times a month, but never feel bad when I can’t. After analyzing the way she asked me once again, I came to the conclusion that she understands too. My plan may already be in effect.
“Mom, do you think you can have lunch with me since all the moms do it and you’re the only one that hasn’t? but if you can’t, it’s ok, maybe another day.”