Excerpt from a book in progress:
“I always begin my fall cleaning by stocking up on cleaning supplies at Target. You can’t do a good job without the right products, and it is also a great way to procrastinate for a few more hours. As I pushed the red shopping cart with my three-year-old perched in front, she told me she was hungry and would like to have a hot dog and an Icee. Since it was around lunch time, we made a detour to the food court, where I bought her a hot dog and a cherry Icee. I coated the hotdog in ketchup, just the way she liked it, and handed it to her in the shopping cart. I intended to continue my task at hand while she gobbled down her lunch as a prisoner in the cart. That is, until she tilted her little face towards mine and whispered, “Mommy, can we just sit down for a little while?” As I looked into her big green eyes, I knew she was right. It would be better to sit down, eat and enjoy each other’s company. I parked the cart and found a table with two red plastic chairs.
At that moment, there was nothing more important to me than sitting on a red plastic chair, watching Elizabeth thoroughly enjoy her lunch and ask me questions. We didn’t need to be doing anything else; just sitting and eating lunch together was enough.
Twelve years later, our dialogue continues, even through teenage years known for strained or even absent communication. The topics of conversation are different now. In fact, Elizabeth isn’t as interested in my thoughts anymore. She is much more eager to share her own thoughts. Instead of wanting to know what it’s like to be a mom, she wants to tell me what it’s like to be a teenager.”