|the distracter with her boat...|
|and my true love & me in mexico|
This morning she wanted desperately to show me a fleck of glittery confetti, and how, on one side it was silver and on the other side it was blue. She thought this amazing and fabulous and I dismissed her. Again and again I dismissed the wonder on the tip of her finger with a simple, “Uh-huh, sweetie, I see.” But I didn’t really see.
The morning was crazy. Monday crazy. And the printer wouldn’t work for an assignment due, and I still needed to dry the clean uniform shirts that I had neglected to finish on Sunday, and we couldn’t decided on school lunch or home lunch, and someone felt a sore throat coming one—so they ALL felt a sore throat coming on.
Later, when they were bustled up and zipped up in clean whites and navy blues and hurried out the door with ample kisses, I went through the rote of my morning and eventually got to sweeping. The collected detritus of our rush revealed my little Boo’s confetti and I smiled at it as it flipped to blue on the first sweep, and swoosh: flipped to silver on the second.
I had heard her; I had noticed when she told me. But I didn’t really stop for her and look and listen and see. I didn’t see how her eyes might have grown wide at her discovery; I didn’t see how gingerly she may have cradled the confetti when she found it. I saw her naked limbs, her torso unclad, her panties that needed to be changed, her wild hair, her curious attempt to wrangle her toes into socks and more than anything at seven in the morning, I just wanted her to hurry.
Why would I ever wish for time to hurry? And how sad to be me, missing her face, missing her expressions, missing the moment.
Aaron and I went to Puerto Vallarta for a getaway just us two and it was amazing and what we needed and oh-how-we-are-in-love and all that jazz, and on the plane ride home he looked at me in all earnestness and I looked back and he asked me plainly and plaintive, “Will you just please look at me when we get home?”
That really hurt my heart.
I can’t juggle them all apparently. I just can’t do it. Something/someone somehow is always getting neglected. I don’t want it to be this way—I want to have the super-ability to see every little aspect of every little nuance because I love them all so much. And more than not wanting to miss anything, I want them to feel that love and feel validated and know that they are important to me, and that they matter. Oh how they matter!! If only they could see a cross section of my beating heart, then they would know how much is devoted to each and every one of them.
But I wonder if even then they could see it. Because FINALLY Peaches’ assignment printed out and I intercepted him at lunch with it and with an extra granola bar because I was so distracted this morning by the chaos that I didn’t double check his self-packed lunch and noticed him arranging only a very large Ziploc of grapes and apples. As I was attempting to explain this to him, I could see the color rise in his cheeks and the way his gestures were dismissing me and so I whispered, “Are you embarrassed?” And his eyes locked with mine and he nodded and I nodded back, complicit, and I hurried out of the cafeteria.
Or how I read and read and read library books to my Boo—or I play Old Maid and Memory and Uno and Go Fish and puzzles for hours to the neglect of the laundry—and how still she simpers next to me, willing me away from what I want to do, to play “boat” with her on blankets lying on the floor. “Can you pack me a snack in case I get hungry?” (Too cute.) “Can you help me bring Amylissa?” (The beloved baby doll.) I pause to do these things, and soon the baby will be awake from his nap and I will abandon my wants entirely to follow him around the back yard and tote him on my hip when he summons me with a yell.
Will they only remember what I didn’t do? Will they only remember that I sat here at the computer and not know that I was charting a map of my heart and every word was about them? Will the memories ring of the sometimes neglect, the requisite embarrassment? Of how I sometimes forgot to look?
I hope not.
I don’t want to be the one who doesn’t see; I don’t want them to be ungrateful children. I want us all to notice each other, every little bit.