Lately, I’ve been really trying to focus on how beautiful my life is. I have been blessed by many things that I sometimes take for granted, so I am stopping and smelling the roses, as they say.
To that end, last week I took a day off work to accompany my 3-year-old’s class on her very first field trip. I met her friends, wiped snot off noses of kids who weren’t my own and pleaded with God to never give me boys. It was a fantastic day of holding hands, laughing and cuddling.
I was so smitten that I gave into her pleas to come home with me instead of going back to school for the rest of the day. I took her directly from the pumpkin patch to our house and tucked her into her bed to dream of thoughts of her and I skipping through fields of pumpkins (this is how it goes in my head).
As she was slowly waking up from her nap, I went and crawled into her bed and under her covers. I tickled her face as my mom had always done to me and sang a song I was making up on the spot about our fun day and how amazing she is. You know, the usual. I was living in the moment so intensely that nothing could have shaken me.
Except her tears. Her silent tears just started flowing down her tiny, tired face and didn’t stop.
“What’s wrong?” I panicked. We’re just laying here in bed – you’re not hurt, you just woke up, I thought. What could possibly be wrong?
“My rabbit,” she said. “Thumper.”
She has a little rabbit stuffed animal from the movie “Bambi,” but I had no idea what he had to do with anything.
“We left him at school,” she said. ”He’s all alone in my cubby and scared.”
You have got to be kidding, I thought. This is definitely a teaching moment. She has a gazillion stuffed animals and has ignored Thumper for the past month. Suck it up – we will get Thumper tomorrow, I really wanted to say.
But instead I did what any mom snuggled in bed with a crying toddler would do: We called Daddy. He promised to save Thumper from the evilness of her preschool cubby on his way home.
Thanks, Thumper, for ruining my perfect day.
Melissa Cruickshank is married with a daughter. She works full-time.