I believe in under-promising and over-delivering.
But, if truth be told, I never really feel like I am on top of my game as a parent.
There is always a sock with a hole, a teacher’s birthday I forget or a tooth fairy duty that nearly slips my mind.
As I stood at my kitchen counter, I stared at the half-eaten chicken pie that no one said thank you for. I looked around at the yoghurt smears on my curtains. I read the note in my daughter’s diary, reminding me of an outstanding indemnity form and I thought: Gosh girl!….are you sure you are qualified for this gig?
I couldn’t dwell on the thought because I needed to give my kids a bath. They had jumped into the mud, right after I told them to stay clean. We were on our way to a dentist appointment.
I snuck in a quick photo (who doesn’t love a muddy face?) before I turned on the bath tap. There was no water. Our cleaner reminded me that if I had read the letter on the fridge, I would have, and damn right should have, known. Boom!
It was a rough day at Mom HQ.
As I walked into the dentist with the two kids from Mudville, the nurse and I got talking straight away. She was a lovely old woman with a round back — an observation pointed out to me by Miss Mudville herself.
The old lady had lost her daughter 50 years ago. She had been standing on a pavement, minding her own business, when she was knocked by a car. She died instantly. She was just a young girl.
I asked her how she ever found the strength to live and she said “The memories! The memories are all we have in the end!” She pulled out a small album and shared her most prized possession with me. Her pictures of special family milestones. I saw muddy faces, spilled drinks, and grazed knees. The other thing I noticed was smiles. Smiles and kisses, hugs and laughter.
I drove home, observing the fighting and moaning coming from the back, and thought: “Of course I am qualified for this gig. The giver of life chose ME by name! Remember?”
We stopped off at the ice cream store and my daughter said, “I thought you said NO ice-cream because we are muddy?”
Now, how do you explain the under-promise and over-deliver concept to a child?…
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