What do you say?

What do you say?

In the past 2 days I have had two “what am I supposed to say?” moments in two completely different settings. And I am currently still at a loss for both.

The other day my little Audrey had swim class which we tend to get to a bit early as I never know how long the drive is going to take. Lucky for the kid, they have a little play area with toys and such to keep the little freaks occupied before we unleash them on their swim coaches and savor the 30 minutes of uninterrupted Facebook time.

That day I had a harsh glimpse into the future: mean girls.

There was Audrey, running and smiling, so excited that there were a few other girls playing “tea party” or some crap and she wanted to join in. I watch her sit down at the mini table and pick up a cup and…que the girl losing her shiz on my baby.

I mean really losing it.

Her dad chimed in before I had a chance to and told her to play ‘play nicely with the baby’.

“I don’t want to! She can’t play with us! NO!”

WTH kid? Really? Then I was left with a “what do I say” moment? Do I get up and say it’s OK, no worries, my baby didn’t want to play with you B’s anyway? Do I kick that little brat in the shins then run away before her dad could catch me?

Or do I do what I did and realize that it’s not my battle to fight. I kept quiet and watched to see what Audrey will do.

In true Audrey fashion she got up, brushed it off and found something new to play with by herself.

She could have cared less.

My two year old has this amazing indifference to jerk-faces that I admire so much. I’ve seen her display it time and time again. I’m not sure if it’s the age, maybe she just doesn’t notice it or maybe she just doesn’t know enough to care, either way she never ceases to amaze and teach me.

How could you be mean to this face?

I doubt I will ever stop wanting to stick her in my pocket to protect her from all things bitchy but that’s not life. Like me, you, all of us, she is going to have to figure it out on her own. I’m not always going to be there which is a good thing because judging by my instant gut reaction to this menial crime, I would end up in need of a good lawyer.

To quote the great Laura Willard, “Being a parent is emotionally exhausting.”

Today, however, was a whole different situation all together.

Today is September 11th, 2012. The eleventh anniversary of that terrible day and it still gets me. Last year I cried all day, this year I decided I would take Audrey to pay our respects in a tiny way. We went to the Memorial Field in Tempe, AZ.

Each of the flags had a card with the name of an individual that died that day and a short paragraph about them.

I went from flag to flag reading, soaking it all it, getting to know these people who were lost, grieving with the other people around me.

The cards were awesome. They said things like “She was excited about visiting the set of Emeril Lagasse’s cooking show on the Food Channel” and “He had an expert ear and the party-planning skills of a born impressario”.

This one was one of my favorites…

…”and was an incorrigible romantic when it came to matchmaking.”

As I walked around reading name after name, seeing teddy bears tied to flags to signify the children lost that day, lost in my own thought, Audrey stopped and asked me, “What’s that”, like she does about 50 bazillion times a day. (“It’s a truck.” “It’s a tree.” “It’s a giant sign that says, ‘stop asking your mother questions.'”)

This time I answered, “It’s a flag. It’s very special.”

“Ok.”

I got off easy this year. I know in a few years when this day comes she will want to know more, possibly to know why and who but I don’t know what I’m going to tell her. How do you explain that level of hate and terror to someone who has known nothing but love, kindness and a few bitchy four year olds?

On our way out I saw a random man dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, take a bugle out of a hard case and play Military Taps.

Dammit, I almost made it to the car without weeping.

 A few weeks ago when I went to the BlogHer convention, I made it a point to visit the memorial. There was more security than I was expecting, it was quite a process to just get to it. But then you walk into the actual park and you are struck by two things: the massive size of the actual memorials and how increadibly quiet it is. There were people everywhere, walking, sitting, touching the names of the lost, but nobody seemed to talk.
Today, like everyone else, I remember the fallen, their families and those who have chosen to put themselves in harms way in the war on terror.
“You can be sure that the American spirit will prevail over this tragedy.” -Colin Powell

Comments

  1. Hate bitches, especially young ones you can’t reason with. Audi is in great hands though! You are a fantastic mom and these answers will come naturally to you due to the love you have resounding through your every word. Pray and trust.
    <3
    Sissy

  2. I hate to tell you my dear friend, but I’m afraid Audry’s indifference to the little bitches is her age. Katie and Drew both could care less about “mean kids” when they were 2-3. I think they were in Kindergarten when they actually started getting their feelings hurt. It SUCKS, because when your child’s feelings get hurt, YOUR feelings get hurt too. Normally, when I witnessed a situation like that, I’d walk over, sweetly grab my kid by the hand, and say something (loud enough) like “Come on Katie. If these girls are going to be REALLY MEAN, we don’t want to play with them anyway. We only play with NICE people.” Usually, it’s enough to give the “mean kids” a verbal slap in the face and if their parents are paying any sort of attention, which typically they aren’t, it’s a wake-up call for them too.

    Thanks for your post on the 911 anniversary. Very well said. I still have no idea how to describe it to my kids either. It’s so awful. At least you still have a few years to think about it! :-)

    Hugs to you and your NICE, FRIENDLY little Audry.

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