that time i was really, really wrong

Part of being a Mom is constantly realizing you're doing things wrong. There are a lot of "do-overs". Fortunately, kids are really forgiving. They're good at giving second chances- and I need a lot of those. 

I had one of those experiences last week with Jillian, my shy, quiet, I-don't-ever-want-to-be-the-center-of-attention child. Her end of year preschool program was coming up and I was already prepping her (knowing she'd likely back out). We talked about what they would do, and who would be there. I told her we could get Sodalicious cookies afterward (her favorite treat). She was excited about it, but still quite hesitant. The night before she even prayed all on her own that she wouldn't be scared. 

Well of course the time came, and sure enough, she didn't want to sit with the rest of her class on the small stage in front of the small audience of parents. She didn't want me to go up with her, she didn't want her teacher to walk with her. She didn't want to sit by her best friend. She didn't care about my bribes I was offering if she went up and performed. She just didn't want to. So we watched the rest of the class sing the songs and recite the poems, all of which Jillian was mouthing silently as she cowered into my arm from the front row of chairs facing the rest of the class.

I have to admit, I was feeling disappointed. Or frustrated- some mixture of both that no other kid had any reservations about getting up there. This wasn't the first time it's happened, where she clings to my side and begs to let her stay in her seat, so I can't say I was surprised, but my feelings remained the same. 

I know she could sense my frustration with her, because as we were getting back into the car, she hung her head low and quietly said, "Sorry Mom." I instantly felt tears come to my eyes. 
You know, the "Crap. I messed up and it wasn't anything YOU did wrong- it was me and I feel like a terrible mother" kind of tears. 

We started driving and she asked if we could still get a cookie on the way home. At first I said no, since she didn't get up. But I begrudgingly gave in and we got a treat anyway.

Later that night before she went to bed she put on a tutu and her ballet shoes, and asked that I turn on some ballet music and she danced around the living room while I watched her from the couch. She said, "I want to show you a dance show since I didn't do my preschool performance today."
Same tears came up in my eyes.
Dangit- it's not her messing this up, it's YOU.


Later that night and after a conversation I had about it with my Mom (because this is obviously something you call your Mom about--expert help needed), I realized it doesn't matter if she doesn't like performances, singing in church, reading her well-practiced speaking parts- some kids just don't like performing, no matter the size of the audience. And maybe she never will. She can do SO many other things SO incredibly well, who cares if this one little thing just isn't where she shines (or even wants to shine). I shouldn't push that. I shouldn't compare her to the kids with the bold personalities, or the attention seekers, because their personalities aren't better than Jillian's, just different. 

The next day I woke up eager for my second chance. I told her how proud I was of her for working so hard in preschool and being such a good friend to the other kids in her class, and that I was sorry if I was sad that she didn't get up on stage. Fortunately, she was quick to forgive and probably had already forgotten about it. But it was important for me to tell her- important for me to reestablish the kind of mother I want to be. 
And I'm proud of her, SO incredibly proud.



a quick trip to DC

Last weekend James and I flew to DC! He finished his MBA at GW in December, but we had to go out for all of the graduation hoop-lah. It was such a whirlwind of a trip since we were there for less than 72 hours, but it was still a fun little getaway! I haven't been to DC since my 4th grade safety patrol trip, so it was basically all new again.

 We landed at 9am on Friday, and had just enough time to run to our hotel, shower off the travel smell, and get to the capital building for a tour given by a staff member of Mia Love, one of Utah's representatives. 

The paintings covering the walls and ceilings were so intricate! I especially loved this quote:

DC is really an interesting mix of old and new- some blocks reminded me of "The Capital" from the Hunger Games (surely that's where they got their inspiration), and other blocks had some really cool architecture!

James got to do lots of sight-seeing when he was in DC a few months prior for one of his classes, so he asked me to make a list of the places that I wanted to see! Naturally I came up with a list of places I wanted to eat at instead...

Because of our crazy our schedule ended up being, we only got to hit up one of the places on my list, Astro Donuts, but they were delicious! They're famous for their creme brulee donut- and for good reason! Fun fact: they also serve fried chicken.

We also toured the White House. I love that it's still period decorated- at least the wing that we were able to tour. ;-) I saw a woman's dreams get crushed when she asked a security guard if Obama ever just popped over to this area "just to say hi" to the visitors and he politely said, "never". Hah! She was notably disheartened. 

We also got to visit some of James' family that lives in Maryland, about an hour away from DC. My favorite thing about visiting family no matter how much you do or don't see them is that it instantly feels cozy and everyone just picks right up where they left off. 

And bonus, James' uncle made some killer fried empanadas. I'm certain I gained a few pounds during that meal alone!

The commencement for the whole school was on the lawn in front of the Washington memorial. It ended up being an incredibly windy and cold morning, but I loved the remarks given by Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey. He brought up how everyone is eager to want to change the world, but so many ignore the needs of those in their own neighborhoods and communities. It definitely made me think of so many things I can do better in my own little realm of influence.

I'm so proud of my husband and for his hard word and dedication over the last few years- working 50 hours a week (which turns into 60 with commute time), and still having the discipline to maintain an A-B average, and not slack off even a little bit in being an amazing father and husband. Congrats James! You deserve a really long nap. ;-)


this song is dedicated to my mama

Have you guys heard that song yet? My brother showed it to me a couple years ago...it's pretty catchy.
 This soooong is dedicated to my mama, who taught me how to put on my pajamas..
Once you become a mother yourself, Mother's Day becomes this weird mirror-like holiday where suddenly everything my mom ever did or said makes perfect sense to me, because now I know from experience exactly where she's coming from. 
I.e., I get why you don't like to share your drinks with us, but begrudgingly do anyway. P.S. I'm not as nice as you on this matter.

My Mom is and was one of the best and continually shows me the kind of mother that I want to be for my girls. 

Happy Mother's Day!