Every year my family buys me a present to show their love. Today they simply proved their love. My son vacuumed the entire house for me while I was at work. My sister brought me a beautiful bouquet at work from her fabulous flower garden...my nephew brought me a fantastic CD he burned (he has terrific taste) and I got over 60 messages from friends on Facebook. Some of my regulars came in and tipped me $30.00 on a $17.00 tab. One of the cooks gave me a five and a huge hug. One of my managers came in and gave me a bear hug so tight that I thought he was putting a "kick me" sign on my back. He told me how much he loved me and all that I do for the company. Going to my sisters for dinner at her farmhouse with my entire family...even the 23 year old is going and my husband bought me what I hope is the winning lottery ticket!
This day has been one of the best days I have had in quite some time...even with the difficulties we are having financially, it has made me realize once again how truly blessed I am.
My girl is home from band camp. Her first time away at camp and it was a trying week for her as well as for me.
This is how my day started out...
The phone rang at 8:00 sharp this morning, just as it has every day since she left. The first few days the calls were really upbeat. As the week wore on, she complained of her knee hurting and how hard the choreographer was pushing them. She came across a knee brace a while back while rummaging through my closet. As I have stated previously, her fascination with plaster casts, wheelchairs and eye glasses have always been a fascination bordering on obsession.
Since she has never broken a limb or had to use a wheelchair (I think she envied Frances' a bit though), she decided a knee brace may fill the gap left after she finally got eye glasses.
Massey has never been athletic or played sports..and believe it or not, color guard is really a strenuous sport. The week before they left for band camp, they had guard camp at the school Mon-Fri from nine in the morning til nine every night. Only water breaks, lunch and dinner breaks...all out in ninety degree weather on asphalt in the broiling sun. Although band camp was fun, they push these girls and PUSH and push.
She told me the choreographer was relentless and when she complained of her knee he screamed through the bull horn that she had 3 minutes to sit down and then it was "back in line." I told her he wasn't there to coddle them or be their best friend but to help shape them into the award winning team that they were.
I think part of it was that she began to get homesick and part of it was that she has never been part of such a driven and competitive group. I have always babied her, I know I shouldn't but she is my only girl and it is just so easy to do.
When I answered the phone this morning, knowing it was her, she weakly said "Hey." I asked what was wrong and she said her knee was sore. I know I shouldn't have but I kinda exploded. I thought she was calling to tell me happy birthday. Instead she called to whine about her knee and how hard it was to practice. She said she was going to see if she could sit out during the performance for the parents coming to pick them up from camp. I told her to toughen up or she would be labeled a weakling and a baby. I told her if she kept on complaining they would take her to the doctor themselves and once they found out we didn't have insurance she would get kicked off the team.
She hung up on me.
I called her right back, MORE than furious.
I told her that she was to NEVER, EVER hang up on me again...especially on a cell phone that I was paying for. Then I REALLY unloaded.
I asked her if she realized how hard it has been for me to manage to pay for camp, uniforms, wind suits , dues and accessories she needed to be a part of this sport. she apologized for hanging up on me but I felt no better when we said good bye. She never even mentioned my birthday.
After talking to my husband, we decided on the ole "reverse psychology" that had worked so well on my son. I called her back and when she didn't answer I left a voice mail telling her that her father had said if her knee hurt THAT badly , just tell the coach that she couldn't handle the pain in her knee and was quitting the team...we would have her knee looked at by a doctor when she got back home.
On my way to work an hour later I called my sister and said that I was worried that her knee may be really hurt. My sister thought I may be right since she had started out loving the guard so much.
Two hours later.
I was working a busy lunch shift when my cell rang...it was Massey. I snuck to the bathroom to answer and heard the old Massey's voice, chipper as a bird!!
"Hey Mama!!! My knee feels a LOT better and I am going to perform with the group!!...Courtney's parents are picking us up at one and we will be home by four, I meant to tell you happy birthday and that I love you and hang on all the girls in the room sing happy birthday to you and I love you so much and can't wait to see you"... all in one long run on sentence.
Thank the Lord she was just the "Girl Who Cried KNEE."
The week was long and hard, harder than anything she has ever done. She had fun in the down times and the fun and games but they pushed my girl like she has never been pushed before.
You don't win gold medals at state competitions without working your butt off and this team she is on is truly a championship team (I have seen them perform.)
She came home a few hours later ... threw her arms around my neck and hugged me more tightly than she has in quite a while. She hasn't mentioned her knee once, she immediately apologized for hanging up on me and went right into a full length description of the week's events and activities.
As soon as I can I will have her knee looked at, but I think it felt better the minute she walked into the house. They had a registered nurse with them at band camp and I know that if there had been the slightest inkling that something was wrong with her other than her wanting to give up too easily, I would have been the first person they would have called.
I think Massey is glad she made it through camp. She didn't WANT to...but she DID and now she feels a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride that she actually did.
This has been her first in a long line of "Life's Tough" lessons and experiences.
I didn't mean to blow up at her and have apologized several times for doing so.
She seems to have either forgotten it or realized that she needed it.
What a great birthday and what a gift Massey has given me showing me finally what she is really made of.
Sometimes you just have to push when your kids seem to want to pull away and pray that they don't stumble (or hurt a knee) along the path of life.
Yes, I am truly, truly blessed.
BTW my brother gave me the birthday card in the picture above this posting...with a Franklin in it.
Til next time...COTTON