nate was particularly bent about the fact that i would not let him eat the flower on my tray. jack was doing his usual i-will-not-pose-for-pictures squirm and marley is just hoping that the kid on the floor will stop screaming long enough for the spotlight to be on her mother's day gift.
i was on the radio yesterday. terrified barely covers how the very thought of public speaking makes me feel. the idea that many people -- many, many people -- would be hearing my voice, my opinions, my thoughts? yup. sheer terror.
now, let me rewind for a sec. my daughter, who is seven and finishing up first grade, started off her school career, well, shy. she would sit in the back of the class, coast and often hope that the teacher wouldn't notice her. no spotlight, paaalease. nothing to see here. just mindin' my own business. thank you. she would tell me that she just felt scared. scared of what, i would ask. scared that she would give the wrong answer and sound silly. can you imagine?
now let me rewind even further. i'm seven and finishing up first grade. i started off my school career quiet. diligent, creative and, you guessed it, shy. unsure. just let me write my words, draw my pictures, add my numbers. but, please, please, please don't make me say anything out loud.
at home, i wasn't shy. in fact, i was quite loud. but in school. in front of other people. friendly, nice, but not a hand-raiser. nope.
thirty-plus years later, i've learned that unless i want to sit on a computer and blog all day (um...), i have to do things that are uncomfortable. that make me nervous. that have the potential to make me look and feel stupid. sometimes i do great and other times i do look stupid. but, i always know i grow from it. and now that i have a daughter -- much like her mother in so many ways -- i have an even bigger reason to try.
husband and daughter listened to the show online; i'm still too squeamish to do it. according to husband, daughter beamed the whole time, hearing my voice. i had told her i was nervous. she knew i was scared. but she saw me do it anyway.
afterwards, my husband sent me an email: i'm very, very proud of you! you did something you were nervous about and you did it fearlessly. marley listened to it too...she was very, very excited. an old proverb -- a boy says, "dad, can you be brave if you're scared of something?" dad says, "son, that's the only time you can be brave."
i came home from work the other night to find the kids a-twitter with excitement over their new discovery: a robin's egg. the egg had fallen from a nest somewhere, but other than a tiny crack, was fully intact. the kids fashioned a new cozy nest out of grass and twigs, brought their new little blue friend inside, and promptly made him a member of our family.
my husband and i figured there would be no harm in letting "eggie" hang out for a bit. and with the kids besotted, what else could we really say?
so, there eggie stayed...on our dining room table. he was greeted each day with a cheery "good morning!" from both kids. my daughter would come home from school every afternoon and run right up to eggie, stroking him gently and whispering to him.
then one day. it happened. i was in the next room when all of the sudden i heard a cry. a pained, panicked, anguished cry. i ran in to find...eggie. in pieces. first thought? disease. luckily eggie broke on a placemat so just ran that over to the sink. as my daughter sobbed and screamed "he's gone! he's gone!" i scrubbed her hands.
then we sat down. at that point, i noticed the 4-year-old had tears streaming down his face. "oh eggie! poor eggie!" he sobbed.
i held the two of them on my lap, both inconsolable.
but it didn't end there. a few seconds later, i felt a tug on my leg. the baby had toddled over. seeing how upset his siblings were, he began to cry in support.
and so it went for about 10 minutes. tears and sobs punctuated with cries of "eggie! he's gone! eggie's gone!"
finally, when the volume started to die down, i could talk.
"eggie was pretty awesome wasn't he? i'm going to miss him too." and because i write when i'm sad (and happy and mad and tired and frustrated and excited), i said, "why don't we write and draw some pictures to show eggie how much we're going to miss him?"
tears stopped. markers came out. and here's what we got.
goodbye dear eggie. you were loved. and we'll miss you.