Saturday, February 27, 2010

Angst-Ridden on a Dark, Snowy Road

I was driving alone in the dark tonight to a basketball game nearly an hour away. The road was smeary with snow, both blowing and falling, and I was late. The game had started three minutes before and I had no idea where I was.
I hated being late, although I frequently am late. I imagined Grace was in the car. She reminds me, "Breathe" in a kind of condescending way since she is much more likely to panic than I am.
I'd had a busy day grading papers. Then I had taken Spencer to pick up Subway for the basketball team and dropped him at the bus with the food.
"We need cookies," he said.
"I don't have time to bake cookies," I told him.
"Buy them. Two packs."
I had two packs of Oreos in the car ready to be delivered. And somewhere in this dark night, Spencer was sitting on a bench, a sophomore at a Varsity tournament game. He probably wouldn't even get on the floor. Still, I wanted to be there. I didn't want to let him down.
That's when I spoke out loud to the empty car: "You're doing the best you can."
The words kind of hung there for a minute. .
It's true. I try hard to be a good mom for all of my kids. Sometimes I succeed; sometimes I fail.
I felt tears sting my eyes because those words felt so true.
I'm doing the best I can. Nowhere near perfect, but it's what I have to offer.
I got to the game in the second quarter and maybe Spencer's eyes found me, but for sure they found the cookies on the bus after the game.


Linda said...

I think being a parent is the hardest job in the world. All you can do is your best. I still look back after many years and have regrets but, for who I was then, I did my best.

Paulita said...

Thanks, Linda, for the reminder not to be so hard on the current me or the former me.

Not a mother myself said...

You and other mothers I know, do such a great job. Maybe you could admit your feelings to your kids, "once in a while". Anyway, I think the world of mothers like you !

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