Have you ever read the story Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? As a little girl it was one of my favorites. When I picked Anders and Danica up from preschool yesterday I found myself using those very words to describe my day to them.
Though my daughter is only three, she is surprisingly tuned in to the emotions of others and as I strapped her into her car seat she touched my face and said “Why sad, mommy?”
“I didn’t wake up with gum in my hair, but it’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day,” I said.
“Like Alexander?” Anders chimed in.
“Yes, like Alexander. Who wants ice cream for dinner?”
Everyone did. So we went to a local shop and we each had our favorite flavor with all the toppings. As I watched them tuck in, the world went blissfully quiet. The worries, the obligations, the undesirable things that would plague me hours later when I laid my head down ceased to roar while I listened to my children chatter happily, blue ice cream dripping from their chins.
Anders was learning about camping this week at school and Danica made a sheep from cotton balls during craft time. We talked about both at length and more until our spoons scraped the bottom of the paper containers that had once held our ice cream. They both asked for more, but dessert for dinner is a one serving treat.
Instead we went home to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches without the crusts and take baths with bubbles before crawling between clean sheets to read a bedtime story.
“Let’s read this one,” Anders said, pulling the book about Alexander from its place on the top shelf of his bookcase. “I forgot about it.”
So we did and in the end it was all right, for me and for Alex.
More often than they know, my children save me.
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