Just like why I embarrass her: Because I can. It's my job. We usually keep it in balance pretty well. When it's just to the two of us, I'm the greatest person in the world. When there are other kids involved, I pretty much suck. Acknowledgment of my presence is limited to grunts and groans. No kisses. We roll our eyes and sneer at each other, she trying to claim distance and I trying not to look as pathetic as I feel.
This morning marked the first day of summer camp. We woke early, were wonderfully organized thanks to preparations made the night before (outfit, backpack, directions to camp), but things fell apart at the last minute as we packed ourselves on the scooter. We needed to run back for her helmet, my wallet, something involving the cats. . . . It was a wonder we arrived on time. But we did, I signed her in, and was summarily dismissed. The days when she thought it was cool to roar into camp on the back of my scooter in a motocross helmet are obviously over. She probably wishes I were driving a Volvo or Prius like very other mom. But I left quietly without a fuss and without my kiss.
After a few hours at work, I opened my purse and found a branch of rosemary. The scooter was parked in front of a large bush of it this morning, and while I was dashing in and out of the house, she pulled off a branch and put it in my purse, knowing how much I love the smell and probably knowing how the little reminder of her thoughtfulness would make me smile.
I can't wait to pick her up this afternoon. I'm going to wait until we're around the corner where no one can see us to give her a big hug and kiss. I'm getting it, slowly.