My middle daughter is my sensitive one. The one who cries when the world doesn't spin her way or if she perceives one of her sisters might be getting one second extra of my time. The one who won't let me kiss her good bye; dodging my every two lip attempt - even to the top of her head.
Making our relationship even more complex she questions my every move and utterance. I say, "Did you do your homework yet?" She whines, "I don't want to do it now." I say, "Please hang up your coat." She says, "I'm going out again (in 4 hours)." I say, "It's winter, get your hat and mittens." She says, "But I'm wearing my sweatshirt."
Get the picture...
Yesterday when I was picking the girls up from school, she was walking the usual 5 paces ahead of everyone else, so she could be first. As she went to cross the street she stepped right into the path of an on coming car. I SCREAMED, "NO STOP! DON'T CROSS! STOP A CAR!"
Did you hear me? I am sure half of the northeast did. But my daughter didn't. Well that's not true, she did hear me, but she kept on walking into the street all the while giving me that "I don't see a car" look. And the reason she didn't see the car was, as she was galking at me, the car was coming up behind her.
Thankfully the car stopped and she crossed somewhat safely. Seatbelted in the car, I couldn't talk. I didn't know how to control the fear and rage that was building. We ran the afternoon schedule and nothing was said until it was just she and I in the car on the way to pageant rehearsal. " Why didn't you stop when I told you to?" I asked. She murmured, "I don't know." I said nothing more. It is one of those moments a mother will never forget.
Usually in the winter I will drive the kids to school. Today when we stepped outside, the weather seemed warm enough to walk. No wind and the sun was out -- the perfect winter day. So that is what we did. Hand in hand we walked. Actually I walked, my middle one stomped on the ice and climbed over snow drifts all the while talking. Pouring our her deepest wishes and secrets. She wants a bell from Santa's sleigh for Christmas. "Mom," she asked "do you believe in Santa?"
"Oh yeah," I replied. "There is a Santa." But I didn't tell her I'd already gotten my present; a walk to school, hand in hand with my middle wonder. It was one of those moments a mother will never forget.