I took the girls to the hospital with me tonight to listen to a presentation while the boys went to baseball practice. It was better this way, really, I'd be able to get them home at a decent time and showered and ready for bed before they turned into pumpkins or over-tired, fighting, spaghetti noodles. The only obstacle would be keeping them occupied, distracted and above all else quiet for over an hour. Sounds simple until you have children and then you instantly know all the pitfalls and many unimaginable ones that can occur in such a scenario.
It was officially medical, complete with a power point presentation, a doctor speaking, tons of medical terminology, medical professionals in attendance, the whole nine yards, all of us learning or re-learning about the pitfalls of bone growing in unexpected and unwanted places in the body after certain traumas and what to do about it. Yeah, I really deal with this stuff.
And just when you think that what you do is important (because it is), reality hits. I looked over and my youngest was about to whack my middle child in the head with the yo-yo she'd brought. A few minutes later I had to get her to turn down the Jackson Five's "ABC" on her ipod and stop her from wriggling to the beat. Then there was a big debate over dessert, who would get it and when and what it would be. Shoes, sweaters, bags, books, papers and bodies were strewn about on the floor and just then my youngest handed me a piece of paper.
She had drawn a flower. Very basic. There was writing at the top, complete with a few backwards "A's" and a number or two. It said:
1. I like the flower.
2. I am the flower.
3. The flower ran away.
4. The End.
There it is in a nutshell. The complex and precarious situation of what it means to be a mother with her brain in so many places all at once. Wanting to be in all of them, not wanting to neglect any of them, but having to stop and chuckle about the basic reality and simple truth that is offered to us by our children. If I were her, I'd have wanted to turn into a flower and run away too. I'm sure of it.