Life is like a Poker Game
"Mommy you're coming to my ceremony aren't you? " My daughter"s eyes sparkled with excitement and a hint of apprehension. "I wouldn't miss it for anything," I said throwing my arms around her and sealing the deal with a big smile.
Then I checked the calendar. Why can't I ever seem to do it the other way around--check then accept rather than accept than check? The ceremony was the very same night as an important cocktail party. The face-time with my bosses and other VIPs promised to be "priceless." My heart sank. How could I pass that up?
As it turned out, pretty easily. My daughter also needed face-time and not the ordinary, everyday-morning-and-night kind but the this-really-matters-to-me kind. That evening, my beautiful girl sang and swayed and giggled with a friend she's known since nursery school. For a split second I thought about the reception and experienced a profound lack of remorse or guilt. That's when it happened.
As my daughter left the stage and took her seat she banged her head on the edge of the pew. I saw her tiny shoulders slump as if someone had let the air out of a tire. She tilted forward hiding her face in a cascade of hair. I watched. I waited. I wanted to run to her but I also didn't want to over-react and embarrass her. I held my breath, my eyes like a laser on the small body a few rows ahead of me.
Then her teacher stood and bent over her. I shot from my seat, my eyes still locked on my child, my body catapulting over other parents as if they were logs on an obstacle course. As I reached her, the tears were streaming down her face onto the book cradled in her lap. She buried her head in my shoulder and began to sob convulsively--a release of pain and grief. It took almost thirty minutes for her to regain her composure--part of which was spent sitting on my lap in a dark corner unnoticed as people passed in and out.Continued on the next page