Last night as I was tucking Greta and her 147 stuffed animals into bed, she said, “Mama, can I tell you something?”
This sounded serious.
She was gripping her pink blanket, and I could see her little face in the light given off by her nightlight, which I sneak in and unplug every night after she falls sleep.
“All the other mommies come to lunch at school,” she said.
Stab through the heart.
“They do???” I said. “I didn’t know that!!!” I am a horrible mother. How could I have missed this?
Without stopping to think what meetings I might have around the lunch hour on Thursday, I immediately promised her I’d be there. I marched downstairs and promptly packed a PB&J to match the one in Greta’s Monster High lunch bag.
She asked me again this morning. You’re coming today, right?
In the past, I’ve said, ‘I’ll TRY to come, honey.’ Most times I make it. Sometimes an urgent issue comes up at work that can’t be helped. But this morning I would be damned not to make it. I committed. ‘Yes, I’ll be there,’ I said.
And of course, it was POURING rain today and I had about five urgent things due before noon. But I was determined, and I went.
As I was walking toward her classroom, I could see her lined up for lunch – she was second in line and they were spilling into the hallway. As soon as she saw me, I could see a big smile and her mouthing, ‘mama. mama.’
In kindergarten, lunch is served at 10:45 a.m. – breakfast time. I noticed one kid’s mom packed a toasted waffle, syrup and strawberries for her daughter. Good thinking.
All the kids were fascinated. ‘Are you her mom?’ one asked. I sure am! ‘Will you open my Pringles?’ another asked. Sure will!
Then we played Simon Says, lined up, and parted ways. Greta was so happy, I could see it. So glad I went.