I was talking with a friend the other day about how hectic her mornings are with her tween daughter.
“I have to get her up, make her get dressed and brush her teeth, fix her breakfast, and beg her to get to the bus on time.”
I shook my head and comforted her. I told her I was sure she’d get in the swing of things as school progressed. She went off to a meeting. I looked down at my phone at a picture of Ri. I couldn’t help but feel gratitude for my girl.
My girl – who I found in the kitchen this morning after my run – putting a spoon of Rice Krispies in her mouth as she dumped leftover quinoa salad into a container to take for lunch at school. She had alsomade Mario a bowl of Fruit Loops and had let Rocco outside. I’m telling you, she was my mom in a past life. Or someone’s mom. She has the routine down pat.
I sometimes take it for granted.
“I’m biking to soccer practice, mom. See you in an hour and a half.”
“I looked up the recipe for sugar cookies and got them started.”
“I found workbooks on line for Mario and me this Summer.”
“I’m going to be late for school mom. You can’t take another picture of me!”
She might as well be 30. And her carefree, let it go, attitude about life sets a good example for all of us. Last night, she played a soccer game until 7:30. She was starving but I made her go to Kroger’s to pick up food before we ate. She pouted as she got out of the car but as soon as I kiddingly tapped her side and smiled, she livened up.
“I’m getting a crouton from the salad bar since you dragged me in here!” She skipped over to the salad bar with a mischievous smile on her face.
I caved in and got her Chipotle afterwards. She got a burrito bowl filled with rice and beans and cheese and sour cream. With a big dollop of guacamole on top. She knows how to live. When I told her that I was gonna take 90 percent of the guac to eat with my chips, she grunted.
She carried the bowl in her right hand and a grocery bag in her left while kicking the soccer ball up the sidewalk to the house. When she got to the steps, she kicked the soccer ball super hard with the hopes that it would bypass all the steps and land near the door. Instead, it ricocheted off the second step and collided with her burrito bowl, which flew out of her hand and all over the ground.
She looked at me. I looked at her.
I expected either (1) tears or (2) a demand that we get her another bowl at 8:45 at night. But neither reaction occurred.
Rather, we both cracked up. And then she bent over and scooped up the sloppy mess of cheese and beans and tossed it back in the cardboard bowl.
“It’s all good. Besides, I get more guac now because it’s all mixed into the cheese and beans!”
I can’t love this girl anymore.