Thursday, October 06, 2005

I should've been there

We are really fortunate to have three neighbor kids on our block that are Harrison’s age. Each of these kids has a younger sibling who is Ella’s age. Each of the five year olds is in Harry’s Kindergarten class. All six of these children are female - we affectionately call them “Harry’s Harem.” During this past year as new Utahns, Harrison has all but ignored his harem. Why play with girls when there are two boys right around the corner? However, when classroom assignments were posted this fall, all three girls were placed with the same teacher as my boy. We knew that Kyle and Harry would be disappointed with this, but tried to look at it as a great opportunity to get to know the girls on our street better.

One of the girl’s mother graciously walks Harrison to and from school. It is so nice knowing that he is with someone who truly cares for him. She’ll call me most afternoons and tell me wonderful stories about what Harry and her daughter have been up to. When I forget which day is “show and tell” or book fair day – she’s there to remind me. It’s a great arrangement.

Harrison must feel secure with Kindergarten and my neighbor because he has been happy this fall. Really happy. He has moments, of course, when he would rather stay home, but for the most part he is excited and eager to learn. He has become much more verbal and social with others. It seems as if he is starting to really come into his own.

Yesterday, as I was driving home and chatting with the neighbor about Harrison, I mentioned a bit of guilt about Ella. I don’t have as much concern about her, or her behavior, while she is away from me. We talked about how the second child doesn’t get as much attention and came to the conclusion that they don’t seem to need as much. Ella’s disposition is generally easier than Harrison's. She is able to satisfy most of her needs on her own and is compliant most of the time.

Feeling positive about both of my kids after my phone call, I sauntered into preschool to pick them up after work yesterday. They greeted me in the foyer of the school and I noticed a red mark on Ella’s cheek. I assumed it was lipstick or makeup gone awry. As I got closer, unfortunately I was wrong. Ella tripped on the sidewalk that surrounds the playground and fell on her face. She bit into her lips on the inside of her mouth and scraped up her face pretty badly. When I saw her, and heard all of this from her teacher, I just grabbed her. I must have held on for over two minutes.

I know that kids fall and get hurt, but to me it seemed to take on a deeper meaning. It was as if a heavy medicine ball was thrown into my gut. It pushed me over and when I got up – I was more aware and thankful for the gifts in my life. My kids are hard work and give me a lot of reasons to complain. I was reminded last night that life is fragile and things can change quickly. I pray that this is the only “reminder” I receive for quite some time.

I'm sounding a bit melodramatic - I know! Don't bug me about it - it goes with being a mom!

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