Thursday, August 30, 2012

I shit you not, this morning a commercial for laser hair removal made me cry. Not because I have an epic she-beard and I'm sensitive to the topic. Because of one little line in it, which I can't even remember word for word right now. But the gist was this:

Moms, need some time to yourself to recharge? Get laser hair removal.

And I found myself thinking, "If I could afford it, I'd totally get laser hair removal. JUST so I could have an hour of quiet that was all about me."

And then I cried.

And from the backseat, my carpool buddy said to me, "What's wrong mama? Why are you making that sad face?" and I was surprised because, truly, I thought for sure that I was hiding the tears. Stealth, silent, ninja tears like we moms get used to shedding. Tears that release that little bit of frustration or anger or sadness or just plain emotional overwhelmedness without alerting the mini-people that mama is seriously losing her shit.

I did the only thing you can do when caught mid ninja-cry. I played dumb, "What do you ask Luca? What face?"

And, in the rearview mirror, her eyes scrunched up empathetically, she nodded her head and tilted it to the side and said, "Oh mama, it's ok to be sad sometimes. We all get frustrated. I know you love me even when you're mad."

The ninja-cry dropped from its perch among the ceiling beams with a HEE-YAAAAAAAA! and became real tears.

Because I lost my patience.

Because I was running late, again.

Because the shoes we just bought her a month ago no longer fit.

Because I would consider a laser 3 cm from my face if it meant an hour of quiet and someone focusing only on making me happy.

"Is it because you're gonna be late for work again? It's ok, mama. Grandma can walk me to school. No one cares if you're late to Kindergarten."

Because she forgot her backpack at Grandma's yesterday and I got mad at her for forgetting.

Because I don't even want to GO to f-in' work.

Because I need a date night with my husband. Preferably one that involves sleeping in the next day.

Because I miss so much, every day.

So I made a decision right there. Late to work be damned, I was going to stop by grandma's for the orphaned backpack, park down the street, and walk my kid to school. I was going to tell her with my words ("Luca, I AM going to be late to work. But you matter more.") and my actions. I was going to hold her hand the whole way from our car to the playground, then watch her run free to give an excited hug to her best school friend. I was going to stand on the edge of the playground watching my kid be a kid and enjoying every second of it.

When the bell rang, I walked with her and two friends over to the morning line up spot. I listened to the girls giggle together and soaked it in. "I love Justin Bieber!" one of her friends announced. "Are you gonna make him fall in love and marry you????" the other girls asked back, in excited little-girl voices full of laughter. "YES!" proclaimed the Future Mrs. Bieber. And they giggled and held hands.

Behind me, as I stood there waiting, I heard one mom say to another, "I saw you the other day! In Scottsdale!" The second mom asked, "Do you work up there?" And the first mom replied, "Oh GOD no! I was on the way to my plastic surgeon!"

And in front of me, three girls slipped pink and purple and sparkle and pony backpacks on little shoulders, giggling together and holding hands. I watched them walk into school and I wish I could say I had some mom-moment epiphany about creating a world where by the time my kid's a mom herself there aren't moms talking about plastic surgery at kindergarten drop off.

She may not be the boss tha pays my bills, but she looks Boss in that outfit.

But I didn't. Because not every I-had-a-shitty-mom-morning event wraps up neat and tidy, cue audience applause. Because I walked to the car contemplating how I can save every dime between now and whenever and find a way to be home more. Because I imagined a conversation in which I don't cower at the idea of telling my boss I need more flexibility and more time with my kids. Because I need more time with my kids, but damn if I wouldn't let some technician super-analyze my momstache if it meant an hour, just for me.

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