Love gets the message

By Mir
November 19, 2009

Thank you for all of the suggestions regarding delicious baked goods. I’m ten pounds heavier, now, having read the comments, but I appreciate it from the bottom of my straining zipper.

The meeting Wasn’t, which is to say that we thought it was scheduled and then it wasn’t and then we were left hanging and then I had to send some Very Stern Emails. Now we are rescheduled, which gives me more time to plan. And bake. In the meantime, the OTHER child (surely not wanting to be left out) came home with news of a “uniform violation” which required another Stern Email (the response was priceless, if electronic backpedaling is your thing), and also there’s the small matter of a missing project, which is a whole ‘nother story and frankly, I felt pulled in ten different directions last week, and this week it feels more like twenty.

Yesterday I had meetings and today I had meetings and I arrived home to a blinking answering machine.

I had (have) a ton of work to do. I’d been out most of the morning, and all I wanted to do was sit down and get caught up. I jabbed the button on the machine and immediately set about getting situated at my desk while it played. The first message was a caller who’d already reached me on my cell. The second, a call back I’d been anticipating. Then came the third.

“Hi, Mom,” came Monkey’s voice. He sounded small, and so much quieter than usual. My stomach dropped. He’s been in trouble so much this year; what would warrant him calling home? “I called to remind you that today is our Thanksgiving lunch. But…” here I heard a small sigh, “I guess you’re not there. You probably forgot. Okay. Love you. Bye.”

Dead. Killed me DEAD. Because the God’s honest truth was that I HAD forgotten. Had I remembered, I would’ve reminded him in the morning. Probably when the teacher mentioned it, he realized that if I’d remembered, I would’ve told him. So he was right to call. And he just sounded so… RESIGNED when I wasn’t there to answer.

I checked the clock; I still had time to get there. I wouldn’t even be late. But as I threw some food into a plastic container and shoved it into my purse, my cheeks burned and my eyes watered. Most of the running around and preoccupation I’m dealing with right now is because of Monkey. It’s FOR Monkey. But would any of it matter if I didn’t show up? Did any of it matter now when he THOUGHT I wouldn’t show up? Why did he even think that?

An assortment of parents lounged in the hallway by the classroom, waiting for the kids to come back from their last class. I chatted with a friend, shifted my purse on my shoulder, and kept peering down the hall.

Finally, he rounded the corner. His whole face lit up and he started bouncing up and down. When he got close enough that he wouldn’t be scolded for running, he flung himself at me and squeezed me so tightly I could hardly breathe.

“Monkey,” I whispered, as I leaned down to smooth his hair, “why did you think I wouldn’t come? I always come, baby. Don’t I?”

“Yeah,” he said, loosening his grip to tilt his face up to mine. “You do, but I was just worried.”

“Sometimes we need to worry less and remember more, huh?” I asked him. He nodded, then skipped off to grab his lunch box. I tried not to think of what his day might’ve been like if I’d not been reminded to show up… and thought about how much of the time I spend fighting on his behalf probably just looks to him like time spent doing Something Else.

I had lunch in the cafeteria with my son and his friends, and although we two ate food packed at home, one of his friends was kind enough to let me photograph the remains of his traditional Thanksgiving feast:


“I wish you could have lunch with me EVERY day,” sighed Monkey, leaning on my arm and happily working his way around an apple.

“Me too, sweetie,” I told him. And do you know what? It felt exactly like Thanksgiving.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. Here’s to getting the message before it’s too late.


  1. Jones

    Way to go! Love your blog and especially Love Thursday.

  2. Debbi

    Wow. Beautiful. You are right, we sometimes get so into fighting for our kids, or volunteering for our kids, that we don’t actually get time to spend WITH our kids. Thanks for pointing that out. Happy Love Thursday to you too! Glad you made it to lunch!!

  3. Keryn

    Oh, my. That brought tears to my eyes, partly because how wonderful that you could make his (and yours) day; partly because I sometimes run run run and snap snap snap and scold scold scold trying to do wonderful things for my kids…and it is silly. Really, really silly. Thanks for sending Monkey’s message out to me, too.

  4. Leandra

    OMG, thank GOD he called because I would have just had to curl up and die for the both of you if you had missed it.

  5. Moira

    It’s a God thing…I say that a lot when something bad could happen except something or someone steps in an helps it all work out. It’s a God thing. Imagine if you hadn’t gotten home at that time and checked the messages. It’s a God thing.

  6. Sheila

    Smart kid, to call and remind you BEFORE. I dread one of those messages that will inevitably come 10 minutes after an event has started, leaving me to scramble and show up with 12 seconds left. Or not show up at all.

    So glad you got your chance to show up today.

  7. natasha the exile on Mom Street

    Oh. Oh, my.

    I’m so glad that he called to remind you and that you were able to make it!

    Even with G only being 3 I’m already finding myself so busy some days doing things that are FOR him that I’m not being present and WITH him.

    This is a reminder I really needed heading into the extra-super-busy holidays.

    Happy Love Thursday.

  8. Amy S.

    Oh my! Today is one of those days where almost everything has had me on the brink of tears for no good reason and that just put me over the edge! Thanks for the reminder about what really is important — and thanks for giving me a good reason to cry! Now I have to forward this to my co-workers so they don’t think I am a total basket case as I sit here sobbing at my desk.

  9. Lia

    Sad tears

    Happy tears

    Love tears

  10. Susan

    Very sweet story. And reminds me of the fun I had when my daughter was in elementary school and I could arrange to pick her up for a lunch date every so often. We loved those days.

  11. Missy

    Beautiful. *sniff*
    This after I spent my lunch hour boo-hooing watching (dvr’d) Jim & Pam get married, then getting a text with some wonderful health news about my nephew.
    Good day. Thank you for adding to it!

  12. Katherine

    I had lunch with my son (and lots of other parents) last week and we both enjoyed it. I need to remember to just go in and have lunch with him some day soon. I used to do that once a week when he and his brother were younger. Now my teen is too old for me to have lunch with him. I need to grab time with the 10 yo while its still cool.

  13. Wilma Ham

    You have to love kids and what they teach us.
    Mir, he taught you this in your own words;

    “Mir,” he whispered, “why did you think you wouldn’t come? You always come, don’t you?”

    “Yeah,” Mir said, “I do, but I was just worried.”

    “Sometimes we need to worry less and remember more, huh?” said Mir to herself.”

    Peace Mir, peace.

  14. Brandi

    I just walked over to my husband and wrapped my arms around him. “What’s wrong?” “A blogger made me CRY!”

    I’m glad he reminded you. I’m glad you made it.

  15. Lisa

    Thank you. Nuff said.

  16. Jodie

    Mir, you said this a couple of weeks ago:

    “Sometimes grace pops up in ways you didn’t expect, giving you enough faith to keep going down even a very hard road.”

    I kept the quote because I am going through a very hard time right now and desperately needed to remember that. Thank you for reminding us each week to find the love and the gratitude.

  17. Visionsister

    Beautiful, thanks for the reminder.

    Please pass the tissues…

  18. Megan

    Lovely – and perfect on a day that needs a bit of thankfulness.

  19. My Kids Mom

    I had elementary school turkey and dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans, roll and cranberry sauce at 10:35 this morning. You didn’t miss anything by bringing your own food! (Bug’s beaming face made the salty brunch worth it to me too!)

  20. Aubri

    Wow. Thank you for reminding me how awesome mamas are… You are so wonderful.

  21. Jean

    So beautiful…I love Monkey.

  22. Anna

    Rarely do you make me cry, Mir. Happy school-Thanksgiving.

  23. sarah

    Tears. You brought me to tears.
    I have spent so much time on my computer, on phone calls, filling out paperwork, trying to find answers to my own son’s learning disabilities lately… And you are so right. I am sure it all looks like Something Else to him.
    Thank you for the reminder that being present is what he really needs.
    So glad you made it! :)

  24. Nicki

    Can’t write more. Blinking back those pesky tears.

    Love Thursday and another special message. Priceless.

  25. TC


    You are so right. Especially about the Something Else.


  26. ashley

    Dude your Love Thursday made me cry.

  27. Libby

    Good Lord, I already know it’s impossible for me to get through a Love Thursday post without tearing up but this one made me actually cry. I am SO happy you made it in time. I was the kid without the mom present at these sort of events and this still breaks my heart (and it broke my poor overworked mother’s heart who was dying to be there).

    Incidentally, today was my daughter’s Thanksgiving lunch and both my husband and I went. While waiting in line, my daughter’s classmate asked my husband who’s parent he was. When he pointed to our daughter, our girl hugged us both very tight, she was so happy. The little girl said (to our daughter): you are so lucky! My parents never come to anything. They only come when they HAVE to. Man, that broke my heart… My heart still still heavy for her.

  28. RuthWells

    Oh golly. Just what I needed today, more tears….

  29. sassymonkey

    Aw well darn it. I’m having an emotion day and you just made me CRY!

  30. Damsel

    Oh, my… tears, tears, tears.

    I had a moment like that today, too, with my 5-year-old, who has suddenly turned so very stubborn (can’t imagine where he gets that). I feel like we’ve been doing everything we can to get him to do what he’s supposed to do…. and in utter frustration today, I asked him to play Go Fish with me. After that, things were good for about an hour. Now I’m thinking he needs to take a REAL pole and get out of here. *sigh*

  31. Ann-Marie Fagan

    “Sometimes we need to worry less and remember more, huh?”
    Slow down,
    Catch a breath,
    STOP what you’re doing
    Take stock
    Then we can do the things that make a difference for us and our loved ones.

    Thank You Mir.

  32. Beth R



    Bawling here.

  33. Scottsdale Girl



  34. Fabs

    you made me tear up AGAIN! Thanks for putting everything into perspective.

  35. Jess

    Dude. I’m already hormonal. Fortunately, my daughter is watching TV, because I don’t want to have to explain to her why I’m all weepy. She already makes fun of me for crying at commercials.

  36. Kai

    I second the heartfelt comments above…I truly do…

    but is that PEE in the cup on the left?

  37. ikate

    This is very sweet and I’m glad you made his day.

    But can I just vent and saw I want to PUNCH schools for doing this? What about working {in an office/on a time-clock] parents? Guess our kids just learn early to deal with us not showing up at all!

  38. ikate

    um, say…not saw…

  39. Chuck

    Nice post! I remember once in first grade…for Thanksgiving lunch, my Mom showed up, but one of my classmate’s Moms did not, and she let him sit with us. I’m glad you got the message and had a nice lunch.

  40. Debra

    :wiping tears: And when he gets older and acts like he doesn’t need you or want you, please remember it’s an act. He still needs you but probably won’t be able to say it. No one told me. I didn’t know. I wasn’t there when I needed to be.

    You are such a great Mom.

  41. J from Ireland

    Aw that is just lovely. I love “Love Thursdays” They nearly always make me cry. Best wishes.

  42. Kate House

    You know, you handled that situation beautifully. You weren’t even late, which I find damn impressive.

    That Monkey sounds like a find. Keep ‘im.

  43. Jen B

    tears.. just what i needed tonite… ;) thanks mir.

    what a sweet monkey boy you have!

  44. Flea

    You’re a good mom, Mir. :) And you really should have lunch with him more often, now, while you can. It’s so worth it. I wish I’d done it more with my boy.

    Happy Love Thursday!

  45. StephLove

    I’m glad you didn’t miss it.

    And I’m feeling a bit churlish for being so grumpy about the short notice for my 3rd grader’s T-giving party.

  46. Nelson's Mama

    What a sweet post…

    I did forget one year – luckily my oldest daughter’s third grade teacher called and gave me a heads up. I showed up at the Thanksgiving lunch unshowered, no make-up and hair undone, just as their class sat down to eat.

    My poor daughter was a hot mess by that point. It wasn’t one of my finer mommy moments.

  47. ChristieNY

    Aaaaaaw! So glad you got the message and were able to make it!!!

    I got food poisoning today and had to skip my Kindergartener’s Thanksgiving feast, but thankfully his Daddy went in my place and all was well.

    Cheers for taking the time to sit down and eat with him, and be there for him! It means so much to them, as you well know. HUGS!!!

  48. Mare

    You are so fortunate to have a child that understands the love that you give to him. I am battling with a 14 year old who has gotten into a lot of trouble. By legal standpoint and all technicality he is not my biological son, but my heart is an idiot that loves the abuse.

    I’ve fought hard for “Guppy” to help him in any way I can, but because of the way he was brought up, I can’t bring myself to say raised, he doesn’t understand his value and worth.

    Although Chickadee may be rebelling in her way, and although Monkey is struggling to get his feet under him, your constant abiding is what will make them the adults that will fight for the underdog. They will, believe it or not, see the wonderful things you do for them. They will appreciate the love and devotion you give to them even when they’re not stellar in their behavior.

    I stumbled here, but am a devoted fan. I gather hope and strength knowing that out there in this world, there are children being raised as yours are, with love, patience (stretched at times), and comfortable with their lives. The way your write about them and your life with them creates a sense of hope for me. Thank you.

    Good catch on the lunch.

  49. jen

    so glad it worked out in the end!!

  50. Kelly

    Oh tears. Sigh. You are such a wonderful mom.

  51. Darcie

    Great post that brought tears to my eyes. I can so relate to this one and it was a great reminder to stop “doing” and just be with the ones you love.

  52. Jessica

    OH the tears! When you write I can feel the emotions.

  53. Sharon

    Thanks for that story Mir. I was going to miss a school function today because of work and decided at the last minute that a tiny bit of time at my son’s school means so much to him.

  54. Randi

    Awww, I’m so glad that you were able to make it! Last year my son had a tea where they read to the parents – I had it on the calendar and completely forgot. He came home and started bawling and I felt like the worst parent in the world.

  55. Kristen

    That is the sweetest thing EVER.

  56. Aimee


    I’m so glad that you got there in time to share lunch with Monkey. Happy (belated) Love Thursday!

  57. thebonmama

    So glad you made it in time. That would have been a terrible story if you hadn’t!!!

    I just shared my first thanksgiving lunch with my daughter this week, and I can’t wait for many more. I hope I never forget one.

    Even though all the stuff you’re doing may look like Something Else to him, remember you are doing your very best for him, and he will appreciate it all one day.

    Have a happy Love Thursday!

  58. Leila

    What a wonderful post!!!!

    Happy Love Friday and every other day. Enjoy your children while they’re young & don’t forget to kiss Licorice.

  59. Katie in MA

    Thank the patron saint for mothers because WOW, crisis narrowly averted! Glad that everyone was okay in the end (lunch at least!) – take it as a sign that your other crises will sorts themselves out with a little time.

  60. Chris

    I am now totally worry that I missed ours but I am glad that the mom-gods were looking out for you.

    Happy love thursday

  61. Terri

    Wow. I feel sucker-punched because that could so be me right now. I’m so glad he called, and so glad you made it there.

    And, since you still have time to bake, may I suggest my home-made toffee? It’s pretty easy to make, and everyone I have ever made it for is addicted to it. Seriously. No one even wants my cookies or cakes … all they want is the toffee. Plus, it’s not messy to eat, and wraps up nicely into little gift bags. It might come in handy to have something his teachers are addicted to (and think can only be provided by you), if you know what I mean. :) Email me if you want the recipe. Good luck!!!

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