I forgot to drive you to school yesterday. Not only did I forget to drive you, but It didn't even occur to me that school was in session and that you should be there. When I heard the phone buzzing on the kitchen table, I immediately remembered that you were standing in front of me playing Super Mario Brothers...on a Tuesday...at 9:30am...and what is it that we do on Tuesdays at 9am? I just can't put my...finger...on..it. Shit.
"Hi, is this Mrs. Gammalo?"
"Yes, is this St. Mary's?"
"Yes. I'm just calling..."
"I'm sorry, Sammy won't be in school today. I forgot about school today."
"Oh, so he isn't sick?"
"No. His mom is just a tired nurse. He will be back on Monday, thanks for calling!"
Mom of the year (how do I keep winning this award?!)!
The truth is, things like this have been happening a lot lately. We eat tortilla chips for dinner and string cheese for breakfast because I haven't had time to shop for real food. After I tuck you and your sister in to bed for the night I write papers and create presentations for school and eat chocolate with my tea until three o'clock in the morning before waking up at six to get your sister on the bus. And then I go to one of my jobs in the afternoon and come home at midnight to start the whole process over again. This is how a brain stops working. This is why when I look at our Christmas tree standing tall and lovely in the corner of the living room, I get just a little bit sad. There are patches of broken lights that upon first glance aren't that noticeable. But upon closer inspection you can see the blank spots. Whole sections of Christmas JOY are MISSING! I'm not telling you all of this because I'm looking for sympathy. I only want you to know that I love you so much that I am willing to lose my mind for you (I'm kidding - sort of).
The real reason I am telling you this is because I want you and Nia to know that I can be better than this. And so I will be. It's all about limits, and it's easy to get wrapped up in goals, responsibilities, jobs and money, and for me, it has been about planning for the future. I have been trying to do all of this while really being present in the "now" moments of your childhood. And while I know I haven't taken one second for granted, I am not present enough. What's enough? Well, forgetting to take your child to school is not enough. Driving to the wrong job because you haven't slept is not enough. Popcorn for lunch is not enough.
As you grow, remember that we all have limits. And when you feel like you are reaching yours, don't ever be afraid to do something about it. It's not defeat, it's strength. Finding the strength to slow down and live a purposeful life is exhilarating. You can still reach every one of your goals if you set your mind to it, but maybe not try to reach them all in the same hour. Define your priorities and let them guide you. I have four. God, your daddy, Nia and you. Everything else will fall into place.
Now...let's go find something to make for lunch. How does mustard sound to you? No? hmm.