The note I left in Katie’s lunchbox this morning
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for telling me your own stories in return.
Thank you for never letting me forget that as isolating as this journey can be, neither I nor my children are on it alone.
Thank you for asking if my Katie’s OK.
I can not say that this is an easy time for her. But she’s a strong kid. And Mama’s mobilized the cavalry. She knows she’s not alone. She’s finding out that she’s stronger than she thinks she is. And that she has to be.
On Sunday afternoon, I had plans to go for a walk with a friend. I never, ever go for walks with friends. It was my Oxygen Mask. I couldn’t wait.
On Sunday morning, my girl broke down.
I called my friend. “I’m so sorry, but we need to reschedule. My girl needs me.”
That afternoon, Katie and I went out. Just us.
We had lunch together. We did a little spring shopping. And then we went here ..
Katie and her new friend Oliver
Yes. I bought my kid a guinea pig.
Because she didn’t ask for a pony.
On the way home from the pet store, she thanked me a million times over. But not for Oliver. For the TIME that I’d carved out just for her. For understanding that she had needed her Mama. For prioritizing her. For canceling plans that she knew were important to me.
And then she did me in.
Holding Oliver in the cardboard box we’d fashioned as his carrier, she closed her eyes and turned her face to the sun. She smiled like a Cheshire cat.
“Mama,” she said, “I really hope your friend still got to go for a walk. It’s such a beautiful day.”
Yes, thank you for asking.
I think she’s going to be just fine.