God, can I have a do over?

I appreciate the fact that for some mistakes we can go back and correct them. For some mistakes we really shouldn’t although the possibility is there. For others, there is no going back.

I’ve been watching my daughter work on her xtra math homework.  It’s a program on a website that gives the kids math equations to answer. I’ve been noticing if she gets one wrong she’s closes down the session and starts again. My miss perfectionist was trying to get a perfect score.

Okay, so I understand the desire to get the right answer and not make mistakes. However, I did explain to her the purpose of the exercise is to see which ones she has problems with and work on learning them and the program will continue to test her on the ones that gave her problems so she will practice them and learn. She kind of frowned at this but understood and now works her way through even if she makes mistakes.  In the end she was really excited when she finally worked her way through and got them all right and could move on to the next lesson.

For school lunches I make my daughter hot meals.  She doesn’t like sandwiches, not even peanut butter and jelly even if they did allow peanut butter at school she wouldn’t eat them.  She did try cheese sandwiches and ham sandwiches but very quickly I saw them coming back only half eaten or barely touched.  So for my little girl, I fix her hot lunches in a thermos every morning.  This morning however, I was going in about five directions at once.  I set the water on to boil that would be used to pre-heat her thermos so her hot lunch would keep hot, then work was pulling me in another direction, trying to respond to a critical email, while trying to get her milk money together for the milk program at school and finding I had no change and had to write a check for $5.25.  Plus reminding my daughter that she had a project that needed to be started that would be due next week.  She hadn’t unpacked her lunch from the day before.  She knows this is her job, so I was also pushing her to get up and unpack it which she did and thank goodness she also packed it with her snacks and put it in her backpack.  I started getting her water bottle together while heating her lunch to put in the now pre-heating thermos.

Somewhere along the way something disconnected my brain from the tasks at hand.

8:10am came and we stepped out the door during which I asked her, ‘do you have everything? Do you have your planner? Do you have your lunch? Do you have your water bottle?’ To which all answers were “yes, and check”.  Check of course meaning, checking it off the list as being had.

I return home, immediately jump into work and I don’t surface again until the phone rings in the middle of discussions and work being done for setting up an urgent change.  I’m a computer programmer and also perform data storage management.  For the most part I work between the hours of 7am and 4pm weekdays, but on occasion end up working nights and weekends and I’m oncall 24×7, so it isn’t unusual for me to get called into a problem that takes my whole attention for several hours.  When the phone rang at 11:25am I looked at the number, didn’t recognize it and considered not answering the phone in order to keep my attention focused on the urgent change.  I’m glad I answered.  It was my daughter calling and asking, ‘Mom did you put my thermos in my backpack?’  My head quickly swiveled 180 degrees (yes I know that’s almost impossible to do when it is from looking straight ahead to looking behind you, but I know I did it) and saw the thermos sitting on the counter where I had finished pouring in the hot stew and closed the inside thermal seal lid and saw the small bowl that sits inside the outer lid both sitting on the counter beside the thermos.  I looked at the clock again and asked her, ‘if I bring it to you, will you be able to eat it?’  They only give the kids 15 minutes to eat their lunch.  About that time, I could hear over the phone the announcement over the intercom at school for the kids to get ready to go outside that the lunch period was ending.  She replied, ‘its okay Mom I can eat my snacks.’  I told her, ‘Oh darling, I am so sorry.’  In her sweet young voice she told me again, ‘Mom, its okay.’

Needless to say I felt like a horrible mother.

When I picked her up at the end of her school day at 2:15pm she was wonderful, and came home and ate the stew that was waiting for her in her thermos.  All I wanted to do was ask God, ‘Can I have a do over?’  But, of course, this isn’t something we can do over.  If we screw up with our kids even just once it is written down for all eternity in the nether regions of our children’s brains and in our brains too.  At least until we get so old the connection to some of our memories start to erode and we only hope it is the not so good memories that loose the connection than the most joyous ones.

So tonight I’m working, finishing up the urgent change, talking with a friend and co-worker, while my daughter does her evening ritual for getting ready for bed.  She calls to me to come give her a hug and a kiss, and I tell her I will be there shortly.  I finish with work, end the conversation with my co-worker and go to her room to give her a hug and kiss. I find her crying.  I sit down and ask her what is wrong, but she won’t talk to me, so I lay down with her and hold her.  I wait a bit and ask her again but she won’t talk and only tells me its nothing, nothing that I can fix.  I wait some more and because she continues to cry, I start again and ask her to please talk to me.  I tell her that mother’s like to fix things but even if we can’t we do like to listen, that sometimes talking can help.  It takes a while but she finally tells me, that it is about me, and I finally guess that it is about my age.  I am 51.  She is 8 and if I didn’t say it, she would remind me, she is 8 1/2 years old.  I became pregnant on my 42nd birthday and gave birth to her almost three months to the day before my 43rd birthday.  She started at a very young age, maybe around 4 years old, of being concerned about how old I am.  At that young age she understood that as I age the amount of time she would have with me in this life is dwindling or could suddenly end.  Every now and then, this strikes her hard, like tonight, just out of the blue.  Other times it hits her when she sees me having health issues.   I guess tonight it really wasn’t out of the blue because for the past couple months  I’ve been experiencing a lot of pain that has effected my desire to move around very much.  I asked her if it was the fact that I was having pain that had brought this to surface and she said yes.  I told her I know I’ve been moving around like a little old lady lately and she nodded her head.  I kind of smiled at that and I told her, ‘you know, even kids can move around like little old people, especially when they are not feeling well and are in pain,’ which reminded her of a few times when she was sick and all she wanted to do was lay around and play video games.  Then I told her the doctor is looking into trying to figure out what is causing my pain, once he knows then we will know what can be done about it.  This discussion ended with my telling her that she was right, I can’t do anything about my age, but what I can do is try to stay as healthy as I can so once we figure out what is causing the pain then maybe I can work on being more active by starting out walking, three or four times a week. And I hoped she would walk with me.  She agreed and now she lies in bed peacefully asleep and hopefully not so worried, at least for now, about my age.

I completely understand why this is so scary for her.  She only has me.  There is no one else here.  It scares me to even think something serious might happen that would leave her alone.  It tears my heart out just thinking about it.  I’m doing what I can to ensure someone she loves will take care of her if that event should ever happen.  We do have a wonderful friend who spoke up and made the offer.  My daughter loves her immensely so I know she would be well cared for.  But sometimes I just want to ask God, ‘can I have a do over?’ So that maybe he would bless me with her at a much younger age at a much healthier time in my life, but I know somethings just can’t be ‘do overs’ and for some unknown reason I was blessed with her in my later years instead of my much younger years.  I’m not sorry.  I love her beyond my life, but sometimes I wish….


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. iamforchange
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 19:53:08

    You are a true gift to your daughter and to the rest of us! I hope that you truly have a heart felt wish of love as I wish it for you! I have tears in my eye’s and would give the biggest hug if I could.I empathize with your situation and will say your daughter is as awesome as you! You have done well by her and she will be as beautiful a woman as you and her soul already shines bright! Thank you for sharing such heart felt thoughts and know in your heart they are appreciated as are you! Give your little Angel a hug and a kiss as you thank our maker for such a gem!


    • Kate Spyder
      Dec 01, 2011 @ 22:07:19

      Thank you! I give her a kiss and hug every day and night before bedtime and always tell her I love her. She hears from me what I rarely heard as a child growing up because I want her to know she is loved and she is awesome. Thank you for taking the time to read my story and share your comment. I wish you the best in life and love.


  2. iamforchange
    Dec 09, 2012 @ 14:20:55

    I love your pages and your form of self-expression, it is a pleasure to have you share your gifts through your pages Thank you. I have nominated you for blog of the Year please visit my page Blog of the year awards and nominations Thank you! Revised
    Posted on December 9, 2012


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