It finally happened. I thought Susan (Andre’s mom) was picking up Clementine and she thought I was. I was at the Presidio at a conference and in a meeting with an advisor for another conference, and my phone was off from having been in sessions. Half way through a meeting I looked at my phone to check the time and saw that I had two text messages from Chris: one telling me she was stranded at school, the next telling me Susan was getting her. I felt myself start to cry.
I knew it would happen eventually, and I’d even thought about it that morning: some day, we will get our signals crossed and Clem will be left at school, the kid who is still there after all the parents have come and gotten their kids. I’m sure it’s not the first time it’s happened at the school. Apparently the teachers were very nice and said it was no big deal. I’m sure it’s not that big a deal. Feels horrible though.
When I got home, I saw the branch we had selected for Clem to bring for Sound of the Week (it was “B”day, and our Beautiful Branch also had a Birds nest in it for extra credit) was sitting there by the door, where we’d left it on Sunday when we picked it out, in an attempt to avoid running around frantically the day of, as we did all last year. Clem tells me she was the ONLY kid there without something for Sound of the Week.
I stopped myself from crying in my meeting at the Presidio, and I stopped myself from crying when I came home and saw the branch by the door. I have not taken my anti-depressants for three days; I ran out and each day have not figured out how to get to the pharmacy while it’s open. Must explain also why I started to cry in the conference yesterday when the speaker from Ogilvy showed this ad from Dove about girls’ self-esteem (on this one I don’t think I was alone; lots of other women were tearing up).
But then I was feeling shaky and unsettled and couldn’t figure out how to get grounded after having prevented myself from crying three times that day. So I sat down and watched the Dove ad again. Actually, I started crying before I even turned it on, but it still helped. Then I watched all the banned ads on YouTube for a while; some of them were funny and cheered me up, like this one.
I would like to not feel like I am either shortchanging my job, my daughter, or myself at any given time. Mostly I don’t feel that way, and I feel lucky that I don’t, and lucky that my job is flexible and interesting and my daughter is tough, smart, expressive, and an enormous amount of fun. I suppose there will be times like this.