You see, I still struggle with the whole "organization of child events/assignments/activities" thing. I thought (and had planned for) a 6:30pm concert. 1:30 didn't look like it was going to happen.
Until "mommy guilt" kicked in. "Your daughter had the school call you to tell you to come - you HAVE to go. Amelle never wants you to watch her and today she does, this is your big opportunity - don't blow it! Work will always be there. Go ahead, you can rearrange your schedule. Squeeze in a couple of those afternoon meetings this morning, just talk fast. You can do it. Do it for Amelle. Oh you are a terrible mother, just look at you - you care more about work than your own kids? You make me sick! You should be tarred and feathered. You really should be. If I wasn't just the voice of guilt, I would seriously spit on you. Yes I would, and I would even do one of those nose snorts so that the spit would be really disgusting, cause that's what you deserve."
So I went at it. Cancelling meetings, rescheduling meetings, talking fast. I put in for a half vacation day and zipped out of the office at 11:45, stopped at home to pick up the Christmas dress (and my camera - of course) and planned to arrive before the start of the show to help Amelle change into her dress and smooth down her hair. My plan came together seemlessly - I was outside of her classroom with dress in hand at 1:10.
However, instead of being greeted with a "worlds best mom smile" - she began to cry. We stepped out of the classroom and melted into my arms, "I can't do this, I can't do this".
I was stunned. "..but look, I brought your dress so you can be dressed up like all the other girls.."
She cried harder.
"Okay, you don't have to wear the dress, but you have to do your concert"
"I'll only do it if you don't watch me. You can wait out in the car".
She was dead serious and I knew it. Amelle isn't big on the whole on stage thing, and seems to find it easier to do what she has to do without the pressure, er..support of her loving parents.
"Well then why did you have Mrs. Chick call me and tell me about the concert?"
"Cause I wanted you to take me home right after the concert"
...so essentially she wanted me there so that she could enjoy "early dismissal" after the concert, a whole 25 minutes earlier than her normal dismissal time.
I tried one last time to get her to put on the dress before I walked away, camara around neck, dress in hand, sorrow in heart. All the other girls were dressed up, but that didn't matter to Amelle. She wasn't having it. No dress. She was going on stage with her school clothes on.
I sat in the lobby so that she could see me when she passed through to the auditorium, I wanted her to have confidence that I didn't sneak in to watch her. She smiled and waved at me as she passed by. Her eyes were still red.
...and here's the girl who made this post possible. My quirky little girl who I love love love.