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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Too Busy Being Busy

I was too busy last night. I got home from work and had so much to do. My mind was going through the list of all the things I had to finish. Log into online banking. Pay bills. Groceries. Work on the blog. Tax stuff organized. Laundry. Cleaning. I knew I'd never get it all done, but I could at least tackle a good bit of it.

Mid-way through the evening, my daughter decided to pull out the box of toy trains and build a rather complicated double-decker train trestle system that her Dad had purchased for Christmas one year. The thing is monstrous and beyond intricate. I knew she was going to start screeching about ten minutes into it, and sure enough, the fireworks started.

"Mom, can you help me?"

"Anna, I am really, really busy. You're going to have to figure it out for yourself, OK?"

She grumbled, but gave it a go. A few minutes later, she started in again.
"Mo-om! I can't get this to fit together!"

I shoved away from the computer with a huff and squatted down to look at it. She handed me the guide page and it looked like Greek to me. I spent a few minutes and succeeded in knocking half of it down as I got the other half to fit.

"Mom! You're wrecking it!"

I threw a piece down and with my hands on my hips, I started shouting.

"This is exactly what I didn't want to be doing, Anna! I am very, very busy and I don't have the time to be babysitting you!"

"You're not my babysitter - you're my MOTHER!!"

Dead silence.

I looked at my beautiful daughter. My beautiful, bright, inquisitive daughter that I always complain gets the short end of the stick because her brother has a disability and gets the lion's share of attention around here. I opened my arms, and with her jaw quivering, she walked into them.

"I'm sorry, boo. You're right. You're absolutely right. I'm your Mother, and I definitely have time for you. Now let's tackle this thing!"

She smiled and snuffled and we tackled it like nobody's business. It looked like hell and we had to bang a couple of pieces together with the blunt end of a Thomas the Tank engine, but we got it connected and standing for about 10 minutes before it all collapsed and we started laughing.

A little while later, we watched the rain through the window, and she told me all about the school and their emergency plans should they ever get hit by a hurricane. Oh yes, they've got it all figured out ("Once the hurricane gets here, we duck."). Then we sang songs and did a goofy rain dance, joining hands with her brother and pretending to be Indians. She asked if I knew any "real indians" and I told her of my paternal grandmother, her great-grandmother, who was Native American. We spent another half hour online learning about the Choctaw nation, where they lived and how they spent their time. During the winter months, whenever they were confined to their homes due to weather, they told stories about their ancestors.

"So we're just like them, telling stories while the weather is bad." She said. She's so damn smart.

We made cookies, you know. I just ate one and it had a long, blonde hair in it. I didn't care. Right now she's helping her brother with his math homework. She just gave him a high-five for doing it right.

I am the mother of a great kid. And I am so incredibly grateful that she took the time out of her busy schedule to remind me of that.

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