a flower resolution…

September 10, 2008

Lucy and I ran like 1,000 errands the other day while the boys fall back into a routine of school and responsible life. We don’t go to stores very often so it had been quite some time since Lucy had stepped into a space where shoe aisles go on forever and almost reach the ceiling.

Within 2 minutes her shoes were off and she was trying on a killer pair of stilettos. The Sunday best hats complete with feathers only sold in Richmond happened to be right around the corner. It was a two year old’s fashionista fantasy come true.

I was regretting leaving my stroller at home but could not fault her deep love and admiration for all things pretty and over-the-top tacky.

When it was time to leave I knew it would be bad. I did the drill, gave her warning, but we still left in a screaming, flailing fit. I could feel the judging eyes staring at the back of my head as the door closed behind me. I carried her to the car while she was desperately trying to get out of my hold, fighting me the entire way.

She yelled for a a very tiny yellow flower she spotted in the median. She wanted the flower, I wanted her in the car. She screamed while I pushed her body into the car seat and wrestled the seatbelt until it clicked. I was fully exhausted and angry.

I climbed into my seat and sat for just a minute to collect myself. I said nothing…

Lucy: You aren’t ANGRY! You aren’t angry, you aren’t angry! (there is command in her voice)

Me: I AM angry actually! Do you see this belly, do you see how big it is? There’s a baby in there and it’s hard to carry you. You are making it so hard for me. I gave you a chance to cooperate and you didn’t!

Are YOU angry?

Lucy: NO, I’m sad!

Me: What? You’re SAD? (totally caught offguard)

Lucy: Yeah, I’m sad! (she whimpers)

Me: Why are you sad?

Lucy: Because I really wanted that flower… (we are quiet for just a few seconds)

Me: I know *sigh*, can you be gentle and not so hard with me and I can get you that flower?

Lucy: Yeah, I can do that.

I’m sorry. (in a contrite voice)

Me: I’m sorry too.

I hopped out and picked the tiny flower in the middle of the ugly concrete median. I handed it to her.

Lucy: Thanks a lot.

Me: Your welcome. I love you Luce…

Lucy: me too mama…

She is exhausting and yet she pushes me to meet her, to see her, to understand, to resolve our differences, to find love. It was almost strange, our exchange, how adult it was…I felt some strange peace that as different as we are she keeps pushing me to connect, to accept and love her. Like some tiny flower in the middle of everything hard. She will not be defined as one thing, one way of being. And I love her for that…

7 Responses to “a flower resolution…”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Ooh, I needed this today. We had this scene last night.

  2. nyjlm Says:

    I love that I can hear this exchange in your voice, because of the podcast.
    Lucy and my Maya would be fast friends. I tell you, these girls are so very challenging- because the things that are hardest for us to live with are also the things that make them amazing amazing people. I’ve learned so much from my Maya, as I’m sure you have from Lucy.

  3. Chris Says:

    You know, I had kind of the same problem while at the market yesterday afternoon with my 8 yr. old son. He’s always moving, being funny (which is a good thing!), trying to climb into the cart, etc. I was in a hurry and wanted to get out. 99% of the time he can crack me up but this trip I was find him annoying and obnoxious. On one aisle a woman started laughing at his antics and asked me if he ever turns ‘off’. As I was trying to get our groceries in the car he was bouncing around the car and parking lot and I ended up losing some cans under the car when I dropped a bag. I demanded he get in the car, picked up the cans and tossed them inside. On the way home, he didn’t speak. When I parked he apologized for being funny and said he would try not to be so funny next time. Sigh. How can I get mad at a kid that’s funny? I apologized for being so short with him and we made a deal that next time, he would tone it down when asked. What can we do?? We love ’em no matter what mood they’re in. LOL

  4. kristen Says:


    such a sweet exchange – makes me wish you were everyone’s mother! And as a writer – so well expressed!

  5. megg Says:

    what a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing it here!!!


  6. Amy Says:

    ahhh yes, the baby will be here soon. shoe shopping while 9 months pregnant is a sure sign. I purchased the strangest pair of shoes to date not 24 hours before John arrived.

    I’m thinking of you every day šŸ™‚

  7. Amy O C Says:

    Wow my friend how different are our daughters than us…
    I giggled reading this thinking…they (my Joy your Lucy)
    are so much of what we weren’t and so much of what we want to be. How beautiful a girl is to our lives
    Love U

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