Monday, May 16, 2011
Melancholy, All Because of Monday's Last Lunch
There will be a bitter sweetness in packing that very last lunch Wednesday morning. For years I have been schlepping around the kitchen early in the morning grabbing this and grabbing that to toss into sacks…well back in the days it was lunch boxes; when they were still cool to carry. Today however I packed a special bakery treat with a special note written on the label. Corny maybe, but that’s me and my girls like that. The world needs more corny. I often oblige and the girls love me for it!
Last lunches make the mind roll back into reflection mode, which is exactly where I aim to go. Bear with me if get a little kumbaya and melancholy.
M, so affectionately nicknamed Maddi Phyl by Princess A. Princess A’s sweet squeaky three year old voice singing out to her new infant sister and playmate--“no-no Maddi Phyl” and it stuck. By fourth grade Mrs. Kunze had nick named you Madders and that stuck too. My little Punky Brewster you came into this world with more hair than I have ever known your father to have. Your skin as red as a hot chili pepper. Your little eyes sunk to your nose. You were then and are still loveable. You could then and still can make me madder than hell, madder than any of your sisters. You let me kiss your cheeks a hundred times to heal your heart when needed and you let my sternness (and daddy’s) teach you life’s tough lessons. Even if it meant serving some time in, what did your friends call your long grounding? Ah, yes, “jail”. At three losing your glasses in a toy box and your wee person response to where the glasses were of, “I dunno” was minor in comparison to the teen shenanigans you tried to pull—but never got away with. Aaaahhh, growing up. Never Easy.
Why did my M need her heart healed with kisses? There were your three eye surgeries. Your last crushed me more than you ever knew and no matter how many times I told you that you God was merely perfecting you, it never helped. You needed that space to be alone to work through it during those formidable teen years, to realize you have the Gift of Mercy. Nothing, nothing I tell you was more heart wrenching then strapping that scoliosis back brace on you and sending you out the door into the world of hallways filled with judgment wearing that dam plastic beast. I smiled at you, encouraged you, hugged and kissed you and then walked to a room to cry my mother’s tears. So when you left for high school on that first day and we struck a deal that you didn’t have to wear that brace-- you referred to as “Helga” (because it must have felt like a stern German grandmother strapped to your back)-- for the day…a little relief was had, if only for a little while. While you left feeling like the ugly duckling I knew your swan-self was in there and you needed to find and believe what we all knew you had buried inside you. By the summer before tenth grade you shed the back brace, the braces on your teeth, your contacts were popped in your eyes and I could hear Paul McCartney singing: blackbird singing in the dead of night take these broken wings and learn to fly all your life you were only waiting for this moment to arise.
I have been your supporter through friendship woes—good and bad. I have been your shoulder to lean on when your heart was broken, reminding you how beautiful you are. I have been your cheerleader when you performed on the fields. I have been here for you as you struggle to say good-bye to high school and hello to the unknown that lies ahead. No matter how stressful it has been switching you back and forth from college choice one to college choice two and back to choice one again…the stress is always worth not allowing you to look back on life and have regret.
So while you left for your first day of high school “feeling” like the ugly duckling, you will walk out those doors of Lindbergh High School on Thursday morning knowing and believing that you are a beautiful swan. Our crowned princess. High school turned out to be …how did Mrs. Yancey put it… you have been very successful in high school and it has been good to you, so saying good-bye is difficult. You showed the world of green and gold your style, your leadership qualities, your loyal friendship, your beauty and your heart. For that it has been a pleasure and a joy watching you become a young woman.
It because of this that I love you unconditionally!
My Maddi Phyl, my Madders.