By: Brandy Black
This weekend I did the thing I’ve always feared I would. I may have created that 4-year-old memory that my oldest daughter will remind me of for years to come. Nope, she won’t remember the Nutcracker or sitting around the living room singing Christmas carols, or picnics in her bedroom. She’ll say, “Remember that time Mama, when we showed up 3 hours late to my friend’s birthday party, remember how everyone was leaving as we were arriving, remember how heartbroken I was? Remember how you stole my moment by crying even harder than I was so much so that I stopped to console you?” She won’t remember the part about her first soccer medal that day and dessert before lunch and fun times at Kidspace or the little white bag of treats I put together for her so that she could feel like she got the goodie bag from the party that I botched! Nope, she’ll simply remember that horrifying moment when one of her friends was shouting “Everyone’s leaving, the party’s over.” And I will remember her tiny hand in mine squeezing tightly and the utterly sad look on her face.
I have tried to avoid these moments as a mom; I swear I attempt to elude them so much these days that I’m terrified to volunteer to be snack mom or anything else for fear that I’ll fuck it up like I did Shabbat the other day when I stood around with the other moms wondering who in the world would forget their child was Shabbat girl until suddenly it hit me, it was ME! Thankfully Sophia missed that part, had no idea what a true failure I am and the teachers protected me from the wrath of the children by getting another class to share with us –but how horrible am I? I handled that well; I realized people mess up, we’ve got a lot going on in our life but this time, this party, it just broke me. I’m becoming overwhelmed and it’s all I can do to get through the day. When I think back to this past year, I hardly remember any of it. Sometimes I don’t know how I got my children from point A to point B, I just do it, I wake up and do what my iphone and my wife and our au pair tell me to. I convince people that I’m in charge and I know what’s what and I’ve got this three kid thing licked but the truth is I’m a mess. I fear people are judging me, well let’s face it, I’m sure they are but mostly I fear my children are going to hate me for all my mistakes. I want to be perfect for them, to show them what a good mom I am but I realized at the end of the night when I was tucking my daughter in and apologizing one last time, that my imperfections will one day help her get through hers and when she’s sad because something has gone wrong, I will remind her of my bad days and failures and this I hope will help her through her day.
Or maybe this is what I tell myself in order to get through my own.