When I was a little girl, I loved Little House on the Prairie. It was not just entertainment to me, it was gospel. Sacrilege, I know. But at 8, I was much more concerned with what Laura Ingalls would do than Jesus. And for a time, I was exceedingly interested in what she would not do—particularly in the realm of personal hygiene.
I would sit in the bathroom, running the water in the tub and sink at the same time. I’d drench a washcloth, then wring it out and move the shampoo bottle a couple of inches so even the world’s best detective (at the time I believed that to be Jessica Fletcher, aptly played by Angela Lansbury) could only conclude that a shower had in fact been taken. It was all part of an elaborate plan to avoiding bathing and brushing my teeth. It took effort. More effort than the actual act of bathing would have required, but that wasn’t the point. I was exercising control…and justifying my actions by reference to Little House on the Prairie. Continue reading
We carefully selected her socks yesterday morning. The uniform rules don’t leave a ton of room for variation, but we thoughtfully chose among the white and navy anklets and knee socks. I brushed her hair and placed the blue bow off to the side while she watched in the mirror to ensure perfect placement. Then we were off. It was the first day of school. But not really… it was her third day back to school, but my first day to see her go.
Last Friday I was still away for work. This Monday I needed to leave early to stand in front of a judge (thankfully I was not the defendant). Last Tuesday, I was there with a camera in one hand and tissues in the other, for her older sister’s first day of First Grade. But there was nothing I could do last Friday–short of quitting my job, and the thought did cross my mind–to be there for the first day of Kindergarten. So, I did something I have done many times before. I made yesterday the “first day” with full knowledge that it was not. Continue reading