Last Friday was like every other day. We raced around getting ready for school, packing lunches and guzzling coffee (me), being completely silly and taking forever to get dressed (them) and just going about our normal routine.
But as soon as we pulled into the school parking lot I realized something was wrong. I saw these kids getting out of their parents’ cars in costumes. It was the 100th day of school. And in my daughter’s class they were celebrating by dressing up like a 100 year old.
And I had forgotten.
All of the other kids were dressed up. The teacher was dressed up. And there was my daughter. Not dressed up.
Oh sure, she looked as adorable as she always does but she wasn’t dressed like a 100 year old. It was a ‘Mom Fail’ moment.
Of course it wasn’t the first. And it won’t be the last. But standing there holding her little hand as she glanced around the room I could physically feel her awareness of the situation. And my heart broke. Oh, I know it’s not the end of the world. I
hope and pray know that she won’t end up in the therapist’s office someday bemoaning the fact that when she was in the first grade her mother forgot to have her dress like a 100 year old for the 100 day celebration at school.
But, it still hurt to see her feeling left out and to know that I could have prevented it. I offered to go home and grab some dress-up stuff and bring it back to school for her but she said, “it’s ok Mommy”.
In the grand scheme of things, the times I’ve forgotten about 100 Day Celebrations and to pack snacks in backpacks and sign permission slips and create the most perfect teachers’ gifts are only a blip on the page of my children’s childhood. At least I hope it is!
And I know that I’m an imperfect mom raising imperfect kids in an imperfect world.
So, I give myself grace.
And I decide to get a jump start on things by making something fun for her to wear for St. Patrick’s Day.
FIVE MINUTE BUTTON SHAMROCK SHIRT
Because I wouldn’t want her to get pinched for not wearing green!
We moms sure are hard on ourselves aren’t we?
We see that mom who is doing crafts with her kids and is perfectly fine with play-dough being stuck in the carpet or flour being tossed up in the air and we wonder why we can’t be more carefree like that. We’re certain that her kids will ‘rise up and call her blessed’ for her anything goes attitude and that she would never ever tell them that play-dough is from the devil.
We attend those impeccably planned birthday parties with handmade party favors that perfectly coordinate with the chosen theme and we wonder if we will ever be able to just buy invitations at WalMart again.
We see the “look what our family had for dinner tonight!” updates on Facebook with a picture of a pile of something that you are fairly certain is kale or some other thing your supposed to be eating all the time now but you know that last night you counted ketchup as your ‘vegetable’.
When I look back at my childhood I don’t remember the time my mom forgot to sign my reading chart or didn’t remember to pack me a snack or turn in a field trip permission slip. I’m sure that they happened though. Because, well, she was a mom.
No, I don’t remember any of those things.
I do remember her pretending to be Mrs. Olson so that I could pretend to be Laura bringing in the eggs to the Mercantile/Kitchen.
And I remember her walking me to school each day and stopping long enough to let me jump up on the bus stop bench and sing “The Star Spangled Banner” at the top of my lungs.
Last weekend we celebrated my birthday at my parent’s home and we watched slides (yes, slides with the projector and screen and all!) of when we were little. I saw images of my mom playing in the snow with us and catching us at the bottom of the slide in the park and hosting birthday parties and volunteering in our classrooms.
And suddenly I felt my love for her taken to a whole new level. Because in those pictures she was my age.
She was just an imperfect mom raising imperfect kids in an imperfect world.
Would she have remembered to have me dress up like a 100 year old for the 100th Day of school celebration? Maybe. Maybe not.
Would she have made me a Shamrock Button Shirt? Maybe. Maybe not.
Would I remember whether she did or didn’t. Nope.
Because I knew that she loved us deeply.
And that’s really the best memory to have after all, isn’t it?
Looking for some more great ideas and inspiration for St. Patrick’s Day? Check out these!
P.S. Heather is sharing her FAVORITE ROOM with Kim over at Savvy Southern Style today! Be sure to head over and say “hi” and give her your opinion on a couple of decorating dilemmas!