The other morning, a Saturday, a well-deserved-after-a-week-from-hell kind of Saturday, I drove my teenage daughter to the stable. It was 7:30 am. She works there on the weekends, kind of a dream job if you happen to be obsessed with all things equine.
Anyway, I didn't mind offering up the early morning chauffeurial services. First of all, I'm not a sleep-in gal even under the best of circumstances. I had a lot of work to do, including prep for a really big new business presentation. I was also hoping to get to the Y for a Zumba class. Our garden needed attention. And, we were having company on Sunday which necessitated some shopping and cooking.
But, most of all, with my daughter still very much in the honeymoon phase with her new driver's license, my trips to the stable have been few and far between. Now, that's something I never imagined I would say! After years of driving her to and from, I suddenly have a lot of time on my hands. And a lot less time to talk with her.
Sure enough, we spent about twenty minutes catching up. Then, she announced that she needed black and white duct tape for a horse show the following day. It's a long distance event and teams typically dress in coordinated outfits. At the last minute (well, technically the day before, but trust me, it felt like the last minute), she and her two partners decided that they would wear white breeches, black polos, and decorate their horses' "boots" (protective ankle-wraps — expensive protective ankle wraps) with stripes of black and white tape.
Guess how many hardware stores are open in our area at 7:30? Um, that would be none.
She was already running about ten minutes late for work. And to top things off, she and the rest of the team from her stable were planning a big sleepover at her trainer's house. We wouldn't see her again until Sunday morning at the cross-country field.
An experienced problem-solver, I made suggestions:
"Why can't one of the other girls get the duct tape?"
"How about if Dad and I bring the duct tape with us in the morning and you do it there?"
Both ideas were met with blank stares.
I started doing math.
If I could drop her at 8:10, then drive to the hardware store two towns over, score some duct tape, drive back to the stable, drop off the tape, boogey back to our town and the Y, would I make it to Zumba?
Not on your life.
Let the record show that there are many mothers out there who actually value their own time and effort and activity, who would not sacrifice their much needed workout for such an errand. There are also many mothers who would accept the situation and embrace it as a learning experience. "See, honey, next time you'll plan ahead."
I am not one of these mothers. I went and got the duct tape.
The thing is, I can't help myself. If it's in my power to make my daughter happy, I do it. Don't get me wrong; I definitely draw the line at anything illegal or immoral. But, duct tape is neither.
Sometimes I wonder if all these last-minute miracles, these crises averted will be remembered. Probably not. But, I do hope that my putting her first will help her understand how much she means to me. And how much I'll always be willing to do for her.
Someday very soon she'll be living elsewhere. I like to think that if and when she's ever in real trouble — not just duct tape trouble — I'll be the first person she calls.
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