This past Sunday morning, Evie walked around the house lifting weights, proclaiming from room-to-room that it wasn’t even hard for her, before she rolled out a yoga mat to do some meditating. Jasmine Cutey the Cat laid on the yoga mat while Evie went to put her (my) weights away. When Evie came back and tried to shoo her off the mat she referred to her as “Giiiiirllllllll…”
“I wonder where she gets it from,” Paul said as I got ready to go to my Sunday morning Orange Theory Fitness class, drinking out of my “YAS QUEEN” coffee mug.
I never get tired of the coolest girl on earth trying to be more like me. If Evie is going to pay me the largest compliment on earth, I can at least do something for her: Keep every promise I can even if they seem silly to me.
Monday morning, I was flying off to do a speaking gig in Africa. Time was tight and the last time I missed a flight to this country, I almost missed my speaking gig entirely. I had planned on working out in the morning, but decided to ditch it to take my kids to school instead. Halfway around the world, missing them, in about 24 hours’ time, which would I regret more?
It was Spirit Week at school—thank God, because without Spirit Week, we might have been able to recover from the full-school musical all last week or Eli could have been able to focus on his intense report on China that he’s behind on.
(We poured through library books on China for hours on Sunday. It isn’t easy going through the history of China with a seven-year-old. Explaining who Mao is, why communism didn’t work out as advertised, and that “Peking Duck” wasn’t actually a duck peeking out at you from anywhere.)
Day one of Spirit Week was “Merch Monday,” a time you could wear your favorite band or sports team or aspirational college gear. The only “merch” we own is Disney-related. And both Eli and Evie wanted the “It’s a Small World” T-shirt. Evie picked first, because she listened to me and got in the bath first. But Eli dug in his heels, insisting he would wear nothing else. He would go to school—I guess?—shirtless. Quite a statement for a child who does 16 costume changes most weekends.
Eli wears this shirt all the time, and it wasn’t really fair for Evie to be the one to cave. But I appealed to her, nonetheless, because it’d been a long weekend, and she is just the more reasonable one.
“Is there anything else you could wear?” I said. She gave it up on the condition that she got to wear not only the blue Aladdin shirt with just the Genie on it, but also got to wear her Pluto Hoodie we got her at Disneyland a few weeks ago.
Of course, I got them to school the next morning (barely) with just enough time to leave for the airport after assembly…and then she realized I forgot the Pluto Hoodie.
“Is it in my backpack?” she asked hopefully. It was not. I could have nodded and run out. She would have gotten over it. I could have told her that I made a mistake and I was sorry, and I’d make it up to her another time.
But I couldn’t.
This may sound stupid, but I remember enough from my childhood to know that adults can’t always cipher out what is important and what isn’t. It’s the times that I wanted something silly and unreasonable but important to me that my parents honored that I remember most. I think this was one of those times it was important to Evie, especially since I was about to be gone for a few days. But regardless, it was important to me to keep this particular promise. I’d called on her to be the more reasonable one. She’d taken pity on me. This was our deal, and I wasn’t going to break it.
I raced home, raced inside, and screamed to Paul, “I have to run back to school, we’ll make the flight, and please don’t hassle me, I have to keep a promise to Evie.” I grabbed the hoodie hoping he wouldn’t see it, and would imagine something much more life-and-death in my hands, and ran back out.
There were no lines at the airport, little traffic and our flight was delayed about 20 minutes. I spent all that time smugly glad I’d gotten the parent/work gamble right this time.
Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:
- Spring Break 2020 ideas?
- Help! How do I improve my focus and concentration?
- How to convince my husband to see a doctor?