Most of my morning was spent at my children's 1/2 year award ceremony.
(Incidentally, I really wish the school would announce the fact that they are having an AWARDS CEREMONY sometime before, oh, I don't know THE DAY OF THE CEREMONY. I mean, fortunately I had taken the day off to clean the house because otherwise I would not have gotten to come. Ahem.)
I might have mentioned, or maybe not, that I'm a Girl Scout leader. (Don't laugh. Seriously. DON'T LAUGH.)
(Okay, go ahead and laugh. I know the notion of someone as messed up as me molding young minds is at the very least funny and possibly even scary. But I love it and they seem to love me, so it's a mutually beneficial situation.)
I have only a very small troop of girls. Four total, including my own daughter. Being a Girl Scout leader is literally one of the best things in my life. I genuinely care about these girls and sincerely want to see them succeed in their lives.
They all go to the same school. One of the little girls is in my son's class. (I hope he marries her someday, seriously. She's beautiful and wonderful and amazing and I would totally love to be her mother-in-law. Yes, I know he's eight. But seriously. I adore her.) I knew I would see them today and I was excited about it. I really care about these girls. I am honored to be allowed to be a part of their lives.
The note that was sent home from school (YESTERDAY) asked that the children wear their best clothes so everyone will know they are getting an award. My children love to get to dress up for school and were excited to get to wear "church clothes" today. My son wore a nice pair of navy blue cords and a tan, navy blue, and red striped sweater. My daughter wore an adorable plaid skirt, black tights, a white shirt with a black bow, and shiny black patent leather Mary Janes.
I always wanted a pair of Mary Janes when I was a little girl. I probably had them at some point, but I remember being my daughter's age and really wanting them and not having them. I have some now, as a 31 year old woman, and I have literally worn the soles off of them in a year's time because I have worn them every single day. I got my daughter's at either Wal-Mart or (more likely) Target. I think they cost $7.99. Maybe just slightly more than that, but I remember thinking they were a real bargain.
As the children lined up to receive their awards, I saw one of the girls in my troop. I waved vigorously at her and her face lit up in recognition. She grinned at me and waved back wildly.
As she came around the corner, I could see she was wearing a Christmas dress. It was red velvet. She's a beautiful girl with huge brown eyes and perfectly straight brown hair. She is a gorgeous, thoughtful, sweetheart of a child.
On her feet were a pair of white flip flops.
I felt defeated. I felt deflated. I remembered being a little girl and not having appropriate shoes for the season. I remember making due. I remember how she felt.
She reminded me so much of me as a child, I wanted to cry.
When they called her name, she looked down at the floor and didn't even smile. I stood up and clapped as loud for her as I could. She looked up and gave me a very small grin. Her mom wasn't there so I took a photo and I'll give her mom a copy (her mom is single and again, they only told us about the ceremony YESTERDAY which makes it very hard to get time off work, for Heaven's sake).
I want desperately to drive to Wal-Mart and buy her some Mary Janes.
I don't know.
I can't change my life. I can't change the things that have shaped me into the person that I am. I want to be a better person. I want to be a good mother. I want my children to grow up and be a better person than I am. But I want the same things for these little girls too. I want them to grow up and be whatever they want to be, whether it's the President of the United States or a chimney sweep.
I don't even know what I'm trying to say. I guess I just wish these little girls were all mine so I could tell them every day, like I tell my own daughter, that they are amazing and brilliant and beautiful and unique and special. That they can grow up and rule the world. That I care about them and want what's best for them.
I wanted to have someone do that for me.
Is it bad that I still do?