I spend half of my time worrying that I’m a terrible parent and the other half exhausted from the daily trappings of parenting.
Shit. I just typed “trappings.” No good mom would consider child-rearing duties as such. All of this work is a labor of love, right?
Bad, bad mama.
Today though, I won at parenting. No, not because I schlepped my soon-to-be-seven year-old to the overpriced, wonderful American Girl Doll store. . .because we shared an experience that will forever tie us.
We dined over chicken tenders and salmon (I wanted those tenders though don’t you ever doubt it.) As her baby doll sat between us, her tiny plastic teacup waiting patiently for an imaginary tint plastic teapot, she said, “Mama, this is my best birthday ever.”
She barely touched her lunch and the store was far too massive and overwhelming for her, but she knew what her birthday wish was–“just a few clothes for her dolly.”
“I don’t need a new dolly mama, just a few new things for her. Thank you for bringing me here.” She could care less about the quantity of her birthday booty; she’s quite content with a few items.
We hold hands.
And I know that I’m saying yes to all the right things and that, for this one day, I am hers. She is mine.
She looks up at me in awe as I hold tiny little branded boxes between grandmas and moms and girls who, too have probably been waiting FOREVER to get here. She loves her dolls and the tiny, soon-to-be-lost-in-transit accessories and our time together, and I love her to the moon and back. This is my freedom.