The Day My Preschooler Taught Me About Love in an Election
I blog a lot about my daughter. She's four-years-old and if you know me or her, you know she's a handful. Sometimes when we go out, people I've never seen or met will run up to her and say, "Hey, A!" She has more of a following than I do, and I've worked in local media for about eight years.
She's my only child - and I'm not exactly a kid person. Don't get me wrong, I prayed and prayed and prayed for my child. I wanted to be a mom so badly. I just had no idea that my child would be NOTHING like me. I'm pretty reserved, somewhat of an introvert. I need quiet time, order, and structure. My daughter is lovingly referred to as Crazy A because her main aspiration in life is to make people laugh. She's a goon and it's what facilitates most of my struggles as a parent. It's hard to find the humor when your child is running around and singing, "My Bootie Butt" ("Tutti Tah") at the top of her lungs at 6 AM when I'm trying to get her dressed and out the door. It's 6... A.... M....
Somewhere in the day in and day out stresses of life, I forget that it's a magical window from age 3-5. Preschoolers are old enough to be self aware and understand things going on in their environment but are not jaded yet. While we all fear the plight of our nation and our world, their biggest fear is missing dessert.
Last night, I was reminded of how pure a preschooler's heart is. It was election night - a really stressful night for a digital media editor. After her dance class, we rushed home and I threw some dinner on the stove to simmer in between political commentary on NBC. Then, the results started rolling in - starting with MY TWO STATES. Eee gads.
Before I knew it, we had already passed up bedtime. I realized she hadn't even eaten her dinner. On election night, we just couldn't do a sit down dinner at the table so I was halfway supervising from the sofa. So, I was pretty aggrivated that at 8:30 PM, she'd only eaten a couple bites.
I hurried her upstairs for the nightly bedtime routine. After tooth brushing, face washing, feeding kitty, and jammies, we read a book, and said prayers. I was still pretty displased that it was so late and she was taking forever. But, even though it was late and I was missing some crutial states, I stayed in bed a moment to talk with her. It was then she reminded me about that sweet preschool heart.
Last year, my 14-year-old Chihuahua was diagnosed with renal failure. Since then, it's been a long process of research, diets, and waiting for the inevitable. Lately, he was placed at a Stage 4 status and has been vomiting. I am aware the end is near and am heartbroken about it.
I hadn't really spoken much about it to her - just expressed my sadness to my husband; I had no idea she was listening. Last night, she asked me if I'd be sad when Chaz died. I said yes, of course. He's been my best friend for a really long time and I'd miss him terribly. She looked at me with all seriousness and said, "You can have my kitty as your new best friend." We recently adopted a kitten from the WHS after years of relentless begging.
This is a huge deal. Children of four don't normally give up their most prized possession of free will. But, my sweet daughter recognized that it was weighing on me heavily and I was more important to her than her kitten.
I told her that kitty was her pet and someday they would be as close as Chaz and I are. Then she thought for a moment and said, "Can we all be best friends together?"
Yep, my heart melted right there.
We've grown so accustomed to airing our thoughts, opinions, accusations, and mean spirits, we forget that loving others is more important than loving ourselves - no matter what the circumstances.
I'm really glad that I have been able to experience these sweet little years and am fully aware that there will be some really trying times ahead. I just pray that she won't lose her ability to feel empathy for those around her or her generous spirit and we as a nation take a lesson from our preschool age children and let go of all the ugly.