I leave my house at 11:10 every day.
I leave my house at 11:10 every day because my kids’ nap time is at 11:00 am so I put my daughter down for her nap and the nanny puts my son down for his nap and then I’m out the door to work by 11:10.
But yesterday was different. I had a job I was working on so I had to leave earlier.
As I was getting ready, my daughter noticed I was getting ready and kept asking me, “Mami? *Vamos?”
I didn’t answer the question. I knew it would upset her because the answer involved her not vamos-ing, just mommy *vamos-ing. So she kept looking at picture on the iPad while sitting on the reclner in our room and I kept getting dressed. I opened my earrings box and chose a pair of earrings.
No answer. I kept getting ready, she kept sorting through photos.
Finally when there was no more ready to get, “”Mami? *Vamos?”
I knelt down to rationalize with my two-year-old, “Mami is going. But later when you wake up we’re going to go to story time and then play at the park, ok?”
She seemed to take it well, mumbled some word and walked out of my room.
I walked behind her as she walked down the hallway. She turned into her room. And the nanny walked in after her. And then I realized it…
The word she mumbled was, “eta.” That’s her shortened word for chancleta which is spanish for flip flop. She was going to her room to get her flip flops to *vamos with mommy.
And then upon entering her room for her eta
so she could *vamos
with mommy, she discovered the cold, hard truth that she wasn’t leaving. She was staying. So she began to cry. And I wanted to cry right on with her.
* * *
She had already stopped crying by the time I left the apartment. But of course, as only mothers could do, I lingered over that 2 minutes for hours. When I arrived to have lunch with Husband, I told him the story. I told him how I felt so bad. How I didn’t want her feelings to be hurt.
He unveiled this gem of wisdom, ” That’s kind of your thing, huh?”
“Feelings.” He said. I waited for more explanation. “You are terrified about the day when a kid will be mean to her. The day she comes home and says so and so was mean to me. You don’t want her to get her feelings hurt.”
(Let me just intersect here for a moment and inform you reading this that I am NOT one of those hovering moms. I let her wander. I let her be free. I let her do her. I guess this is just my thing. The hurt feelings thing.)
He continued more, “Which is funny because you are not someone who’s feelings easily get hurt.”
It’s true. I’m not saying I’ve never had my feelings hurt but all in all I don’t remember too many times I went home crying over something. I remember a few mean words throughout my school years but I also remember giving it back as hard (or harder) when I got those words.
“So, maybe you don’t have to worry so much about her. You were pretty tough, right?” He reminded.
I was. I remember. I was titanium.
But I also remember the other kids that weren’t titanium. And that scares me. What if she isn’t titanium?
This, her feelings, ooph… that’s gonna be brutal. I can’t even think about her getting teased without wanting to cry. It hurts to think about how cruel the world could be and how innocent our children are. I watch her innocence, her heart that is full of love and open to everyone and I wish I could protect her but I know that I can’t. And so the only weapon I have in my Mama Bear arsenal, the only thing I can try and teach her is to be strong. Stone-hard. Titanium. That there is no shame in getting shot down because you build strength by getting back up.
And if that doesn’t work, you meanies out there should all remember that Mama Bears are scary for a reason.
And I am not the Mama Bear you want to cross…
What a coincidence that this actor kid, Ryan Lee is in both these videos. Hmmm…