Dear Mom Who Arrived Late to Your Child’s Preschool Performance,
How are you?
You are pissed at me; I can tell.
I can see your disdain for me. Or, maybe it’s jealousy towards my flexible schedule and apparent “free time”.
How else would I have been able to arrive at my child’s end-of-the-year show ridiculously early and secure front row, center seats?
And, yes, those wipes and those keys are placeholders for my child’s “other people” who will be joining as well.
I heard your outward huff and saw you whisper to your neighbor in the standing-room-only area.
“There’s that crazy Mom who does this every year,” you said.
Okay, I didn’t hear you say that, but I do know you were thinking it.
And you’re not all that wrong.
Do I pull this kind of neurotic, early-bird behavior every year? Yes, ma’am, I do.
Am I crazy? It sure is a term my husband uses to describe me at times.
It’s okay. Keep staring; I’ve learned not to let judgmental glances bother me — and apparently, neither do you.
You see, I noticed that you saw me looking at you, too.
I was looking at you thinking how nice it must be to have a “real job” outside of attending your child’s performances. I thought to myself, “I wonder if she just left an important meeting?”.
“She must bring home a nice-sized paycheck and see how put-together and confident she looks,” I whispered to myself.
I tried to listen in on the adult-conversation you were having with your like-minded and equally beautiful, obviously employed standing-room neighbor, but all I could decipher were jovial quips and laughter. And oh yeah, I caught a glimpse of your perfect white teeth because it’s clear your children leave you alone long enough to brush them.
I saw you look over at me mid-show. My “Woohoo!” when my child somersaulted was pretty obnoxiously loud, but then again so was yours when your child cartwheeled and nailed it.
After that, our eyes meet, and instead of pondering how pleasant and perfect we assumed the other’s life must be, we genuinely connected over what truly means more than anything to the both of us — our children.
You see, love isn’t only arriving at your child’s show an hour and a half early and sitting front row center.
It’s also arriving late and merely coming at all.
Love is sitting in traffic for two hours to watch a 45-minute show.
Love is attending your child’s show, even though you were expected at an important work meeting.
Love is arriving at your child’s show late, sweaty and out of breath, but still bursting with pure excitement at the thought of seeing them.
Love is getting bit by millions of mosquitos because you will not leave and lose your place on that outside playground bench.
Love is taking numerous pictures and videos of your child’s performance.
Love is also running out of memory on your phone (because you already took too many kid pics) and just watching with your eyes.
Love is being quietly proud of your child because you are well-aware that an outward yelp would embarrass your shy offspring.
Love is also being annoyingly vocal and loud with your praise because despite knowing you may embarrass them, you cannot contain your cheering and applause.
Love is rushing to your car once your child’s performance is over so that you can attempt to get back to work; the work that helps you pay the preschool tuition.
Love is also staying in your seat until the curtain closes and then visiting with your child after the show.
You and I both understand this.
So, am I crazy? Yes, ma’am — crazy in love with my children.
But, guess what? So are you.
So, next year, when showtime rolls around, and we see each other again, I’ll smile at you, and I have a feeling you will grin right back at me. Our smiles will remind one another that we are both “getting it right” and that we both love our children like crazy.
From the Mom Who Arrived 1.5 Hours Early to My Child’s Preschool Performance