This whole waking up early to try to get some work done before the girls get up?
Kallan is on to me.
She got up early this morning and stood next to me as I sipped my coffee and scrolled through my email.
“I have nothing to do.”
“Go back to bed. Why are you up?”
“I wanted to get up early to be with you.”
Yeah, right . . . “You want some breakfast?”
“No, my tummy is still sleeping. Want to play a game?”
“You never play with me.”
“Not true, we played Backgammon last night. Several times.”
“I mean this morning. You have never played with me this morning.”
“Well, that’s just ridiculous. I got up early because I have stuff to do. Go back to bed! If I were you? I would so still be sleeping.”
“I can’t go back to bed. I am up and I want to play a game.”
“Not right now. Play solitaire. You know how to play solitaire.”
She looks at me all mournfully, “Solitaire was invented for the lonely.”
She bats her giant eyes at me, “You don’t want me to be all sad and lonely, do you?”
I stop scrolling through my email, “Here’s what I think. I think you got up early because I told you that I have been getting up early to do stuff without you. I think that you think I will be so annoyed when you stand here and beg to play a game at 7:15 in the morning? That I will let you watch television until your sister gets up. That’s what I think.”
And then she reaches forward to pull out a busy markered drawing she did last night, “Did you see this drawing I made for you?”
“It is a beautiful drawing. I love it, Kallan.”
She caresses the drawing with her fingertips, rubs the drawing against her cheek, holds it up next to her face, “But do you see the love in this drawing?”
“I am happy it was drawn with love, babe.”
She brushes the paper against my cheek, “Can you feel the love I used to draw this picture? Can you feel it?”
“I am guessing this is the sort of drawn love that you are hoping buys you television time?”
She holds the drawing up next to her face and smiles hopefully at me.
So now Kallan is watching television, all happy and ensconced in blankets on the couch.
Early in the morning? I am weak.
And Kallan is all wily.
My email? Mostly garbage.
Sent an email to my mother-in-law last night trying to address her concerns about the fact that we don’t attend church. She hasn’t answered. Sigh. Her sorrow makes me sad.
Not sad about the religious aspects of her disappointment. I am comfortable with the decisions Mark and I have made regarding the girls’ upbringing. More than comfortable.
But I hear in her words a sadness about having her own parenting rejected. And that sadness touches me. I know the things that are important to me as a parent, the things I think bring value to the girls’ lives, the things I hope they take away from these experiences. I have a vision in my head of what my daughters’ futures look like, the kind of women I hope that they will be.
And even though I know that I don’t get to be in charge of who they turn out to be, I still hope that my vision is their vision. Sigh. And I know that I may be hurt by some future versions of my daughters, women who grow up and make their own decisions.
Women who make choices that might not be what I hope for them.
Mark attended church with his family every week as a child. I know his parents hoped for a future version of Mark who wanted to instill the same values in the same way in his own children. Instead, different choices have been made, and I can see how Mark’s parents would take that personally.
So I understand, I think, my mother-in-law’s sadness at our decisions.
And now Maj is up.
“Why is Kallan watching TV? How long has she been watching TV?”
“A little while. I am just finishing up here.”
“So she got up early to bother you so that you would let her watch television?”
“And you fell for it?”
“I didn’t fall for it, but yes, her plan worked.”
“Geez, when I am a mom? I am going to pay way more attention than you do.”
I hold up the picture Kallan drew for me, “But Maj, look! I was all overwhelmed by the love she drew for me in this picture. I couldn’t resist the love.”
Maj comes in close, look at the picture, “Her love is a scribbled mass of rainbow clouds and storms?”
Maj snorts, “You are so easy.”
Maj stares at me, “If you are going to be someone’s mom? Seems like you wouldn’t want that person to waste a summer morning just staring at the TV.”
No, because I should totally be doing meaningful things with the girls that they will remember forever and pass along to their own children.
“Ladies? Get dressed! We have lasting memories to make!”
From Kallan, “But I just started a new show! I want to watch television! It’s my summer. I want to watch television.”
And from Maj, “You didn’t say we were going out to make memories! What are you talking about? Are you kidding me? I am not even dressed! Where are we going? Have you checked the weather? Augh! I am not even ready to make memories. What does that even mean?”
Say a prayer for me.