“I will never speak to you again!”
“You don’t mean that.”
However, the silence from the small person, eyes closed, arms crossed, shaking slightly as she stood in front of her, seemed to be quite serious.
Suddenly Angela was wrenched back in time. No longer was she the harried mother of two, trying to juggle home and work and having any kind of time to herself for five minutes. Suddenly she was a five-year-old, standing in her own mother’s kitchen.
There was her mother looking at her with the same look on her face that Angela could feel on her own face right now. The look of a mother juggling so many things that she had completely forgotten how she got where she was. How she had chosen the life of a marriage and children and a career. How she had brought her children into the world on purpose, with love and joy, and would do anything to give them a happy life. Anything, apparently, except give them the one thing they wanted, her own time and attention.
She remembered that day, it was the last day she asked her mother to play with her. She’d never asked again, and she had never felt as close to her mother again either, after that day.
Kneeling down now she said, “I’m so sorry. How about if you help me with this right now, and after that we can play for a while?”
Small eyes opened. “I can help you?” she asked.
“Yes! I could really use a helper right now. It’s about time you started learning to cook!”
A smile snuck out. She put her arms around her beautiful daughter. Some things were more important than others. She was determined not to forget this again. And she never did.