I'm sitting in my car, on yet another gray & wet day, outside Rainey's school waiting for pick-up. I had lunch with a good girlfriend today and figured, rather than drive home long enough to pull into my driveway before I had to return, I'd just sit here until 3pm. It's a bit after 2pm and apparently recess. I find it odd that these kids get a break 30 minutes before the bell rings. It's like taking a nap at 10:30 before your 11:30 bedtime.
Rainey spotted me across the playground and ran over with a gaggle of girls, waving & shouting hellos through the chain link fence. It's funny that she's still at the age (10) that she not only admits she has a mother, but seems rather proud of me. I'm already dreading the day when my uncoolness reveals itself and becomes the center of everything wrong with her world.
For anyone who has kids in their lives (whether you birthed them or get to hand them back when you're done playing), you know the look of "you are amazing" that kids can often bestow on adults. The wonder of what being a grown-up is all about. I remember thinking my babysitters were not just the Sleeping Beauty level of beautiful, but SO mature, and magical in the way they heated up foil-covered TV dinners, smelled like bubble gum & hairspray, and talked about their boyfriends picking them up once my parents got home. It's hard to believe I'm probably 25 years older now than said magical babysitters were then, and they are now in their late 50s. Ouch.
I took a few tai chi classes last year and was telling the teacher that I was trying to get into better shape for my kids (really meaning so that I could keep up with them and have more energy), and she said "they only see you as beautiful." Which was great since my chi was then taken over by forced-back tears and a runny nose. It's too bad we, as adults, so often don't see the "magic" anymore. The TV dinners seem like a reflection of my imperfect parenting now, and I feel like I'm in a continual swirl of the farthest thing from wonderment. The sacrifices made to achieve the life I now have seem irrelevant and the magical moments are living in my memories of the "good ol' days." I'm working on some sort of middle ground now. One where I live in reality (although I sometimes really love the idea of going to "Amy's Magic Land of Wonder" and never returning), but see the incredible moments that I am living. My family, my friends, these kids I am assisting with growing up. I won't deny that there's a part of me that wants to wear bright blue eyeshadow and sing opera loudly as a way to appear "magical" to my kids and create colorful memories for them. But we'll make due with me barely getting dinner on the table, sitting in a never ending pile of laundry and begging my newly planted garden to grow. Because really (and I know this), lying on our bellies in the dirt and being eye-level with some thriving snap pea sprouts is actually pretty cool and, dare I say....magical.