Or, A Jumble of Thoughts
A few unexpected things happened this week. Some ups, some downs.
Our peach tree, which for the past seven years has been stripped of new fruit overnight by hungry birds, offered us a tree full of robust, juicy, sweet peaches, and so, we had our first harvest.
Our beloved bengal cat, Tony, went missing on Mother’s Day. (Please send out your good vibes for his safe return).
Older Son came home from his first year of college (♥♥♥!!). Younger Son’s varsity lacrosse team filled us up by 1. making the playoffs and 2. winning their first, single-elimination playoff game. (As mom of the goalie, the win left me equally elated and wrecked). They play again this Friday, a day which we were planning to be gone from home. Like, really gone, on the other side of the country.
Desperately not wanting to miss this experience of Younger Son’s, and for a couple of others reasons, we decided to cancel our plans of attending an event for our charity hosted by dear friends. This makes the third year in a row which we have planned to go but then canceled. In making the right choice for my mom heart, I have to be a terrible friend. I’d like to say it was just one of those weeks, but truth is, unpredictable events popping up in any given week is actually quite typical. I’m guessing I’m not the only mom who can say with certainty that unpredictability is very predictable.
And it’s canceling our trip which pushes me to the keyboard this morning, feeling bad about not being able to be in two places at one time, and having to pick one important thing over another important thing. But hopefully, in deciding to be home when we were supposed to be away, this speaks to our kiddos, and illustrates what Husband and I hold most dear.
“We are heading into the thick of it, where there’s just so very much that we can’t bear to miss that we will instead miss all this,” writes Jen Groeber at Mama Art. Her essay was about choosing to miss a busy weekend of kid activities (the first “miss”), in order to not “miss all this instead” — precious time, away as a family, hunkering down and hibernating together.
When I first read her post there was a teeny part of me that hesitated. I found her choice so bold, missing games and birthday parties, knowing there was probably push-back from her kids. But as I pondered Jen’s words in the days following (as I always do — you know I adore you, Jen), I decided that what she did makes her a kick-ass mom. Our kids may not remember every obligation, birthday party, or game in a sea of sports seasons but they will remember That Time Our Family Ran Away to the Ocean. Or That Really Important Game That Mom and Dad Missed. Or in this week’s case, Didn’t.
There is a finish line on our kids’ childhoods which becomes glaringly obvious when they reach a certain age. For me, that age was high school. There won’t always be time to run away as a family, or to eat dinner together around the table (or at the couch, as we like to call it, ‘a couch picnic’ — evolved from the ever popular ‘carpet picnic’ from when they were toddlers). There might not be another second-round playoff lacrosse game with Younger Son, or Older Son coming to our home from college to doze in his bed, or watch Shark Tank with us.
And as I type this now, finishing up my jumbled thoughts from yesterday, a sad update. Our beloved cat Tony lost his tangle with a coyote, and we are left here, heartbroken.
I feel like the worst cat mom in the world, and not the best mom of humans right now either, for not better protecting a little creature so loved by my babies. For breaking all the plans we had for him and our family.
Still, I am thankful to not be on a plane today, for not flying 3,000 miles away from my tribe and leaving them to fend for themselves and wander through a house now absent of little Tony.
I feel badly for not being where I had planned to be, but I am grateful to be right where I need to be. At home for my babies. And for me.
© 2016 Stacy di Anna Pollard
This post first appeared on Prayers and Piazzas.