L is for Love

Basking in my most recent mother-flop, I confess at this precise moment, L is for “Loser.” Gone are all the triumphant memories of Birthday Parties and special mother-daughter play dates; playing dress-up, Barbie’s, reading stories or doing an art project together. All is lost in the current sea of failure. I blew it. And no matter how much I want to retrieve the moment, it’s gone forever.

You need to understand my frustration and borderline despair over my keen inability to do a basic functional requirement: REMEMBER! Recalling important facts and dates are a necessary part of life- and if you’re a mother, it’s a daily lifeline. As a mom it’s my responsibility to know who is supposed to be where, when, and what list needs accomplished during the intermediary at a frantic enough pace to return for the on-time pick up. These simple logistics are nothing to the average mom who thrives on juggling and multi-tasking. But when you add another child, and then another, and then another, and yes, another to the insanely busy scheduling mix, my world = chaos, and I, unfortunately am anything but “average.”

Unfortunately, my past precedes me and I awoke to the usual taped notes written in neon bright colors on large paper plates scattered all throughout the house. “Mom- don’t forget to pick me up at 5:30! Mom- don’t forget to deposit money into my lunch account! Mom- don’t forget to wash my uniform! Mom- don’t forget about the school program! Mom- don’t forget it’s early dismissal!”

The messages are necessary reminders for a mom who easily forgets what day of the week it is, let alone where she misplaced her cell-phone, car keys, purse, and most recent to-do list. How I long to be like “ordinary moms” who can leap tall neatly folded stacks of laundry in a single bound, while spanning her day’s agenda with one click of her Blackberry. Instead I found myself tripping over large mounds of tangled clothes, only to fall into a sweatshirt that marked as a glaring reminder that once again- despite the taped paper plates- I blew it. Tears welled-up as I folded the Black and Gold sweat-shirt, picturing Bella as the only child on the entire first grade field trip dressed in hot pink instead of the school spirited colors.

The sting of the tears was nothing compared to the biting words of self-condemnation. “What a loser you are for a mom!” I repeated to myself as other memories swept in like crashing waves. I “forgot” to pack Bella’s 100 items for the biggest day of the year-the 100th day of school! While other children were proudly displaying their rows of 100 special things, Bella had 100 reasons to be sad and embarrassed as she sat before an empty desk. And my most infamous claim to shame: I am the only mom in the history of Soccerdom to be empty handed for the after game snack. Thirteen hot and sweaty cherub faces rushed toward me as Bella exclaimed, “My mom brought the best snack ever! What’d you bring mom?!” I turned several shades of crimson before I managed to sputter, “I, uh, thought my night was, uh, next Tuesday…. I’m so sorry…” I could hear the horrified gasps from the sidelines of other mothers who wouldn’t dream of such reckless disregard. I wanted to yell out in justification “I already bought the juice boxes and Little Debbie snack cakes. They’re in my pantry- I swear! …” But it was no use. The moment was lost as disappointed kids dispersed toward the endless rows of minivans.

Only God could have known the reassuring hug I needed as my tears fell afresh into the recently folded School Sweatshirt.

“It’s not what you forget, it’s what you remember.

It’s the on-purpose moments in life… when you take the time to Love.”

Somehow as always, hope was re-born. I took a quick inventory of “on-purpose” moments and recalled the time I was sick and Bella asked repeatedly when we would iron-on her Disney Transfers and sew her new curtains and I forced myself off the couch to make it happen. Or when exhausted at bedtime and she begs for “just one more” Princess story and I weave yet another tale of happily-ever- after. Or the tender moments of affection, rubbing her arms and kissing her cheeks. These are the “on purpose” moments when we remember what’s most important; L is for nothing if it’s not for …LOVE.

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