Categories

Mommy Guilt and Missing Milestones

I try my very hardest not to buy into mommy guilt, try being the operative word. At the very least, I am aware of its existence and can identify guilt for what it is (useless nonsense) when it worms its way into my thoughts.

That being said, I’ve been administering myself a large dose of “you’re a crappy parent” this week and I’m beginning to question whether, just this once, I should feel guilty.

Next week Anders is graduating from pre-school. Apparently, that is a thing now. Caps, gowns, the distribution of diplomas that indicate you sort of know how to share and rarely bite your friends — Anders’ school is doing it all in a ceremony he has been practicing for weeks now. He even has a line that I have been helping him recite each night in preparation for his big day. 

“The capital of Japan is Tokyo.”

His delivery moves me to tears. I can say without bias, if school productions were in the running for major awards, Anders would soon be thanking The Academy. I was so excited to finally see all of his hard work come to fruition. Until yesterday, when I took a look at my calendar and realized that his graduation was happening this week, the only week in May when I will be out of town.

I’m going to miss the whole thing. While Anders is educating the masses on world geography and celebrating a major milestone in life, I’ll be in Florida at a writing conference. I’ve been trying to tell myself that I’ve been working extremely hard lately and that I deserve to get away for a few days and immerse myself in sunshine and the company of like-minded individuals. But it still feels a bit like I’m having fun at the expense of my son’s happiness.

After agonizing about it all night, I decided to come clean to Anders this afternoon about my inevitable absence. I just knew he was going to be crushed and I wanted time to ease him into it. I braced myself and decided to broach the topic during our ride home from school. Our conversation went like this:

“Anders, I have to tell you something, something I’m afraid is going to make you sad.”

“What is it, mommy?”

“You know how I’m going on a trip next week on an airplane? Well, it turns out that, unfortunately, I am not going to be back in time for your graduation. I’m going to miss it. I feel terrible, but daddy is going to tape the whole thing and we can watch it together when I get back. Do you understand? Are you going to be sad?”

“Mom? Can you turn up the radio?”

“What? I mean, yes, but is it because you are mad and don’t want to talk to me now?”

“No. I just like this song. I’m not mad at you. Can you turn the radio up now? I am missing the best part.”

Mommy guilt strikes again, I suppose. I just hope that his nonchalance regarding my absence carries over to his graduation ceremony and that my husband has skills with a video recorder.

 

FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrPinterest
Tagged as:

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Learn More.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrPinterest