Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mud Soup for Puppies

So I never made it to parent-teacher conferences last night. No, no--I didn't fall asleep on the sofa waiting to go, standing up the teacher and waking at 11 with my hair matted to my face and my car keys in my hand. Julia and I came down with a stomach virus yesterday, so I sent Christopher instead. There's no way I could have gone to a civilized parent-teacher conference last night. Not because I was deathly ill--I still feel a little sick but it never went beyond that sort of low-grade, nothing-comes-of-it queasiness, which I will take over full-blown throwing up any day, but which really puts a damper on your mood--but because after an entire day stuck at home with one sick child and one bored child, a vicious rainstorm going on outside, and the weather reports forecasting snow, I was not feeling especially civilized.

When Christopher got home, I paged through the papers from conferences--the report-card-type form that says how great she's doing, a worksheet or two--and her "Winter Journal," where every day the children wrote a sentence or two about what was going on in their lives at the time, and drew a picture too. Each page was adorable and charming in its own way, of course, but what touched me the most was the week of my birthday. You know how, as a parent, you get so busy with your responsibilities and worries and busy-ness that you forget how truly important you are to your children, how, when they're super-little at least, you're a superhero to them, and everything about you has import, even when you're not thinking about it? How their worlds revolve around you? In Julia's Winter Journal, on the day before my birthday, she wrote, "Tomorrow is my mommy's birthday!" and "I'm making wrapping paper!" and "I am working on a card." And she drew a cake with "Happy Birthday, Mama!" on it.

And it just amazed me how, back then, while I was busy doing whatever I was doing on February 7th, probably not even thinking about my birthday the next day, probably thinking about work and bills and housecleaning and the endless, endless winter, my birthday was the biggest thing in my six-year-old's head.

There was also a really cute entry about stirring ice "crystles" on the playground with her two best school friends, "making mud soup for puppies."

I love six-year-olds.


Rita said...

You know that's a girl-thing, right?

My boy has NO IDEA that I even HAVE birthdays.

I'm pinning my hopes on Paige.

Shannon said...

@Rita: I had no idea this was a girl thing. Go, Paige! ;)