Not Quite Right And Perfect All At Once
Our time is limited these days. Shared custody is like that. Life is like that. When we have time together, our time is sometimes spent doing the things we have to do. Like work. Like multiple trips to Ikea because I broke the sink and had to replace it and did that thing where you buy what you need at Ikea and spend too much money on other things while you’re there and then you get home and realize that the cabinet you bought doesn’t have legs because that was a different tiny box that was in a different section than the other three boxes of things you needed. And you take a deep breath. Or like ten. And you go back again. Maybe they do that on purpose so the second time you’re there with your six-year-old, the kid feels way more confident in her cart surfing skills and does the Whip/Nae Nae while being pushed through the warehouse. I’m sure they have insurance for that type of thing.
Sometimes in our time together, we have sleepovers and stay up late looking at the American Girl catalogue and my parenting skills include enthusiasm for each and every expensive gymnastics doll outfit! And OMG a horse! And wow! Look at those babies! And yes! They ARE amazing! At every page. Until the end. And we start again. Wow! Amaze! OMG!
And sometimes I’m wiping tears and reassuring a tired, frustrated, sad, little kid that yes, I did say no a lot today, and yes, that felt so mean, but no, you can’t yell at me like that, and I’m sorry you lost screen time for tomorrow, and just because you got in trouble, I do love you so much. Always. Sometimes, tomorrow is a new day and that new day just can’t come fast enough. And yet, tomorrow means the last day before she goes to her other house and goodness, it’s just never enough time and will this ever get easier to let go? Will it always feel so hard? Hold on, let go. Hold on, let go.
Sometimes that new day is screen free and we’re making breakfast for friends and she holds my hand tight every chance she gets and she is so good at scrambled eggs and we laugh so hard when she drops the first egg on the floor. We laugh even harder when she drops the second one. And I remember the sound an egg makes when it cracks on the wood floor like that. Like I did when I was six. And I forgot. And later I remember to ask her to try to only ask for things she thinks I’ll say yes to and she does. And I say yes to her putting on makeup to pot her new plant and I say yes to listening to the Monster High soundtrack on repeat and I say yes to sitting together and I wear a cat ear headband even though it gives me a headache.
Parenting is like that. Limited time is like that. It’ all feels like never enough. It’s all not quite right and perfect all at once. And she goes to school and I think of all the ways I could’ve been better. I could’ve done better. And I remember she’s six. And I remember that I’m teaching her what doing the best you can looks like. That’s enough. That’s always enough.