“I became a little more responsible and dependable today,” La Chica whispered to me as she walked through the front door after school.
Her wonderful 9-year-old little brain operates a little different than mine does, than many other brains in fact. She forgets things, gets distracted, and gets overwhelmed more than the average bear. She’s been practicing how to follow through with things. She’s been practicing strategies to remember what she needs to do. We talk a lot about how as she gets older, she’ll be offered additional privileges and freedoms if she can demonstrate increased responsibility.
She tells me that on her walk home from school, she encountered a classmate who is new to the school. She said the new classmate looked scared and lost. So she asked the girl if she was OK. The girl said she was indeed lost. She didn’t recognize how to get home, and she was scared. La Chica asked where she lived, and walked her home.
La Chica was so proud of herself. Someone depended on her. And she came through.
“What is her name?” I asked.
“I have no idea. I forget. But I know where she lives, and how to get her home. That’s more important,” she said.
Thank you for the reminder of what’s important in life. So here’s the thing, it quite honestly drives me insane to find a random sock on the deck, and an errant hanger in my bed, and her beloved giraffe lovey in the pantry. Every day there’s a surprise trail documenting where she’s been through the house. She’ll make a horrible thief, but Hansel and Gretel will appreciate her. Every day she forgets to bring home part of her homework assignment or outfit. Every day there is a face-palm moment and her despair, “Oh WHY do I always forget everything?!”
But she knows home is where little girls are safe. And she knows how to help someone get home. She knows how to help someone feel safe. That’s the important stuff of life.
She heard Sara Bareilles’ song “She Used to Be Mine” on the radio the other day:
She’s imperfect but she tries
She is good but she lies
She is hard on herself
She is broken and won’t ask for help
She is messy but she’s kind
She is lonely most of the time
She is all of this mixed up
And baked in a beautiful pie
She whispered, “Mama, I think she’s talking about me. Except I’m not lonely.”
And that’s how she graciously reminds me that we’re all messy beautiful pies, and she’s working hard to be responsible. She’s reminding me that Grace lives with us too in our safe home, and that Grace likes messy, beautiful pies.