While I completely and absolutely believe that my children are their own unique little selves, there are times I see a lot of myself twinkling from the bottom of their eyes. Usually it is Gracie who mirrors back the best – and more often, the worst – of my traits and habits. But not always.
Take this morning, for example. Gracie might protest for the first minute or two that her alarm clock did not go off, and might whine when the light goes on in her room, but once she makes herself acknowledge that yes, she must indeed move, the girl is UP. And talking, of course, because for Gracie, awake=talking. We shall call it Gracie’s Constant for that is what it is. But Bee-girl, oh this morning is a very typical morning for Bee. She whines when the light goes on. Whines and cries that she does. not. WANT to go to school. Rolls over and clutches Bear. And then cries some more when I am mean and start counting to three before she loses bedtime and other sundry privileges. She gets dressed under protest. And more often than not, she’ll climb back into bed and take as long as possible putting on her shoes, and then cry because she’s ignored my warnings and missed breakfast.
This morning came with extra whine and tears because, oh, I don’t know. Because it was Wednesday and I won the mommy-lottery or something. Who knows why. But she was crankier than usual and I started snapping (and getting upset with myself for snapping) and then we were late getting out the door. It was morning FAIL and I was feeling pretty bad about it.
As we pulled up to her dad’s house, Gracie smiled and chirped and cut her story short because I told her she had to stop talking and go to school. Bee always takes a minute to heft her giant backpack onto her tiny kindergartener body and follow her sister out the door. I reminded her to remember her sweatshirt, wished her a good day and told her I loved her – standard drop-off ritual. That’s when Bee turned to me and in her most pitiful voice said, “Mom….I’m tired!” like it was a revelation. “Aw, baby. I know,” I said to her. “What if I fall asleep in class?” I chuckled to myself – it was a new question, but one she’ll be asking herself her entire life if she’s anything like her mama. “It will be okay,” I assured her. “No, it’s not,” she warbled through her tears. “You’re not allowed to sleep in class.” “I know,” I said, “but I will understand and it will be okay anyway.” That made her feel better and she finished dragging herself out of the car, down the lawn, and into her dad’s house.
Bee and I – we are not morning people. I hate to think of the struggles she has ahead of her – at least until I let her discover the magic of caffeine. But at least she will always know that she has a well of sympathy and understanding in her mama.