Esther was late coming out of school today. Cars were leaving one by one by one. The walkers were gone. The bike rack empty and still no Esther. Esther my early bird. I was just moments away from going in or sending Eloise in or all going in because it was starting to feel weird.
And then we saw her. That Esther. That Esther that bounds down the steps with extra hops, her pigtails flying, her face in a smile, her Skechers lighting up with each bound. She jumped in the van and everything seemed okay until I asked “what happened to you, my love?”
She started sobbing and lunged into my lap as she explained how she got lost on her way out of school and could not find the exit(insert blond joke here) and then finally found someone to help her. Eloise was laughing in the backseat between my SHUSH and STOP to her and my shhh shhh to Esther as she regained her composure.
And I thought about how brave she was to hold it together until she found me.
I have this little thing that I do everyday. At 6pm I make the girls finish cleaning up the dinner table and dishes and finish their homework and all that good stuff that goes on in the dining room. I heat up the last cup of coffee for 55 seconds that I saved from my morning pot and then take it into the family room and turn on the 6pm news(like old people do).
I say the exact same thing each day to my kids as I walk by the dining room to the family room “I’m watching the news alone for 15 minutes. Nobody talk to me.”
I’m sure there is eye rolling as I pass by.
And each day at 6:03 Astrid sneaks into the family room and stealthy lands on my lap against the arm that is not drinking coffee and says to me “I came to be alone with you.”
Eloise doesn’t have much to say to me most days. We’re in the stage of “fine” and “good” and “nothing.”
So I try to act(not hard) really silly just to make her crack a smile. She calls me weird but sometimes admits that she wants to be weird like me but will dance better than I can. Whatever.
But every night as I tuck her in(please let me tuck you in for a few more years) and I kiss her forehead and start backing out of her room she says “Oh mom there’s something I forgot to tell you about today.” And then she goes on for like 15 minutes about her day.
Just because I’m near.