Friday, May 9

A Mother's Guilt


It happened. I let it happen. I did it.

The time was 11:00 a.m. The place was Rachel's preschool class room. And I wasn't there.

I was there at 11:08, but that was too late. The little Mother's Day preschool sing-a-long was over. I'd missed it. Something Rachel had been excited about. Something she'd practiced. And I wasn't there, sitting in the audience with all the other mothers (OK-not all, but most) beaming proudly at their kids as they sang (more or less) together, way off key.

Yes, it's just a moment. One single moment in time that Rachel isn't even likely to remember. But it's a moment that we'll never get back. A moment that, if I'd had pictures or video she might remember-or think she remembered.

It's also not likely to be the last time that we (I) miss a moment because we (I) just couldn't get there in time, but after today, I guarantee you that I won't let it happen again as easily as I let this happen. It was just a matter of answering one last email, making one last phone call, and stopping for one last brief chat in the hall. NOTHING was that pressing or deadline driven to the point that this should have happened.

It was simply not getting there on time. Oh, yes, and not realizing that an 11:00 event meant that they'd actually begin singing EXACTLY at 11!! (Seriously! That should have been spelled out for us "slow" parents!) Yeah - won't make that mistake again!

And - don't doubt for a second that a few salty tears were shed. Oh yes - and they were all mine. Rachel just smiled, seemingly bewildered by the tears. She proudly handed me the picture of herself that she'd drawn and placed in a frame that she'd made for me, for my special day. God, I love that kid. Her smile is infectious. The tears dried up, everyone was smiling and all was good again.

All except for the lingering echo of a mother's guilt.


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