I had a really bittersweet conversation with my boss at work today. He has two amazing daughters. One is a freshman in college now and the other is about to graduate high school. Did I mention that they were BOTH valedictorians? They’re do-gooders. They the sweetest, unsnarkiest, least cynical teenage girls I’ve ever met. And they also happen to be amazing babysitters. E. is obsessed with them both.
So my boss tells us that he was leaving swim practice yesterday morning (he’s 59 and a world record-holding swimmer, btw. Not too shabby), and as he walked to his car, for a moment he looked on with envy at the other swimmers’ Mercedes, Lexuses, etc. But then he thought of his youngest daughter, whose days at home are quickly coming to an end, and he realized that he’d never trade a single second with his girls for all the money in the world.
He told us he came home and said to her, “I love you.” She said, “I love you, too.” He said, “I don’t think you have any idea how much I love you.” She said the same, to which he replied, “I think I have a pretty good idea.”
Honestly, my co-workers and I got a little teary-eyed over that. It just fills me with so much hope that E and I don’t have to have the stereotypical mother-teenage daughter relationship. Maybe we will still be able to express our true feelings to each other.
But in case we don’t, I’m going to remember some of this week’s sweeter moments. As you know, E. has been pretty sick (update: turns out it was just a stomach bug and mercifully she was able to go back to school today). When we were home the other day, I had just made her a Pedialyte smoothie (mmmm, electrolytes+fruit=mom’s secret get-better weapon). As she took her first sip, she looked at me and said, “Mommy, you’re the best mommy EVER!” and gave me a big hug. Melt.
Last night, I had book club and didn’t get home until 10:30. Somehow, E. was still wide awake in her bed when I got home. I had missed her during the day and all evening (DadJovi took the day off to stay home with her and then I was home for about an hour before book club), so she guilted me into laying down with her “for two minutes.” It’s never two minutes.
I kept trying to get her to settle down and I was about to get up when she wrapped her soft, lanky limbs around my neck and said, “Mommy, do you know you’re my best friend?” and smacked a big kiss on my cheek. Double melt. I’ve unseated her BFF at school!
So I’m going to lodge those little sweet nuggets in my brain and hold onto them for dear life forever.
And nights like tonight will be right there with those memories. It was Easter egg dying night! She has been so excited to do it, and this was the first year she really “gets it.” And like Lenny squeezing the life out of his mouse in “Of Mice and Men,” the hardest part was keeping E from loving her eggs to death.