Dear lord, it is a trying day. And by that you mean you are trying, trying, trying. Trying as she won’t put on her shoes or socks or coat. Trying as she won’t get off the floor, where she curls, like a kitten, under her favorite quilt. Trying as she screams when you carry her to the car. You imagine the faces of your neighbors, staring out their windows at you. If it were you in their shoes, you would do it, too.
You try to ignore her as you put the car in reverse. Turn up your music, let the windshield wipers dance their rhythmic tango across the glass. And eventually she calms down.
When you pull into the parking lot at school she is quiet and half-regretful. You turn to look at her and see her bottom lip puckered out. Then you try again, with patience. Kneel beside the car on the pavement and look her in the eye.
I want to teach you a new word, love. You blow stray hair from your face. Hope you are remembering this correctly.
The word is “namaste,” you whisper. The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you. It means you’re important. You are unique and your own spirit. I get that, sweetheart, I do. I don’t want to have arguments with you. It makes me feel sad.
She nods, yes, it makes her feel sad, too. And then she starts over. Gives you a hug to say she’s sorry. Lets you put on her socks and her shoes and her coat. Lets you carry her into school, her chin on your shoulder. It’s a trying day, yes. But leaving her there and heading out on your own is hard enough, too.
The look on Ian’s face, later at night, pretty much sums up the whole day.