I love praise. Gold stars, high-fives, abject awe and wonder... any of that stuff makes me buzz and swell with inspiration to do more good. Heavy praise and flattery also makes me uneasy and suspicious, and causes me to look around and wonder, who are they talking about?
Hold on I have a point.
I cleaned my car yesterday. I consider time to clean a vehicle to be a luxury, and one I don't grant frequently. We live in our car. We are Southern Californians, living with summer heat, winter breezes and heavy showers all in the same day. We have 4 children all running in different directions and at different speeds. These facts are often reflected in the look of my vehicle, particularly the interior. It's the age of lunch, breakfast or dinner, on the go. We need paper and pencils, ketchup, empty buckets, spare shoes, books, erasers, yarn, water, towels, scarves, talcum powder, sunblock, hair brushes, and hats. Yes, Need. And every so often, when it is not raining or blazing hot, when we are not on our way out again or it isn't 9:30 at night, I divide and conquer. I drag the trash and recycling barrels to the sliding doors of our Jet Puff. Good stuff goes in a bag, and the rest is either tossed (like the apple core and the stiff sock with no heal) or recycled. I pack one tidy little box with pens, the hair brush, sunblock and talcum powder and any other indispensables.
Ta-Da! The car is clean(er). If fate is kind, I will even go so far as to visit the car wash, which is something I love to do.
Here comes my point.
When I drop Max off at school we are often met by the amazing and dedicated school volunteers that stand at the curb and direct traffic and remind us not to peel out after we drop-off our precious cargo. This is a painful time for me, and not just because I will miss my son and wish we were enjoying a holiday, but because the amazing and dedicated volunteers open the car door to let children out. It's like kid valet, and I guess it's nice. Or at least it would be nice, if I wasn't mortified. I see it... the long slow, nonchalant
It was with certain glee and relaxed shoulders, a modicum of healthy self-esteem, that I took Max to school this morning, gently pulling up to the curb and the morning volunteer. My car is clean. My conscience clear. I am Super Mom. And she... She didn't open the door! She didn't step up to my conestoga and take that causal survey of the interior... I was robbed of my moment, my non-funky mom moment.
BTW the photos are from our Rancho days, and serve to remind me that I once did have my act together slightly better than these days. They are brain and soul candy for me.