It was the meltdown of all meltdowns. At least in recent history. For homework, Riley had to write a short letter about one of her heros, using three spelling words.
It was too much. She could not decide who to choose. It was as if someone had a gun to her Chickie, saying, "pick the wrong one kid, and the bird gets it."
We sat at the kitchen table, her screaming, hitting herself, crying, begging to give up. Seth sat at the table with us, alternating between coloring and holding his ears.
I reached out and held her hand. She allowed it, but continued to fuss. Seth and I just sat with her until she worked it through. It took quite a while.
Finally, she picked her pen pal, Ms. M as a hero.
Dear Ms. K.,
My Friend Ms. M. is my hero. She is loyal and sometimes coy like me. She enjoys singing in a choir and someday I hope to hear her voice in person.
Riley (spelling words highlighted)
It was a rough night. Tucking them in I was whooped.
At bed, we always do "Happy Thoughts" but Riley was spent tonight. She couldn't think.
In jest, I made a suggestion,
"How 'bout every single minute of your life that I've loved you, even before you were born?"
"Even when I have a hard time?" she asked, big eyes peeking out from under her quilt.
"Even when you have a hard time," I said as I kissed her head.
She pulled her covers down a little and said, "I'm very proud of you for handling situations like that."
Taken aback, I chuckled, "You're proud of me?"
"Yes. You're one of my heros," she said.
I was speechless.
"You're a good mom," she added, smiling her pure smile, so innocent and sincere.
She works harder than anyone I know just to get through a typical day. Most of the time she does an amazing job. If any one's a hero, it's her.