Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Daughter's Surprise

I came across an old journal entry with a great story. It was dated 9/27/05, Brianna would have been 6 and i was still a single mom.

I hated seeing Brianna cry. The sound of her disappointed wailing so easily penetrated my heart and made me want to immediately fix it, tell her everything was alright and then make it so. I had scheduled a weekend road trip to cap off the summer before Brianna started first grade. Unfortunately, silly me scheduled it for the first weekend after school started again and she would have to miss the first Friday of school. I wasn't too worried as it was only one day of only the first week of first grade and I knew the trip would be well worth it.

All summer long we talked about our upcoming trip. We talked about the states we would visit, the fun we would have spending time together, the things we would do, and I kept telling her there was going to be a surprise on the Friday night of the trip. She tried to trick me into telling her what we were going to do. I was so excited and knew she would love it, but I knew it would be more fun for both of us if I could just wait and surprise her.

The first week of school came and Brianna, not surprisingly at all, made new friends quickly. She would come home exhausted but happy to tell me what she did at school and who she played with that day. I was thrilled that she was enjoying school so much. Things were going along great until Wednesday evening when she excitedly told me about something fun that her class was going to be doing on Friday. "Wow, that does sound like fun! I am sorry that you will be missing it."

"What?!!" The tears immediately welled up in her eyes and started to choke her up. "I have to miss school on Friday?!" I was surprised at how quickly she had forgotten about our trip and our plans to leave on Thursday after school. I tried to comfort her as I reminded her of the fun trip that we had coming up, but it was too late. She had lost it!

She ran into her room wailing and burying her face in her pillow. I went to console her but she wanted nothing of it. She was barely intelligible as she raged into her pillowcase. Every once in a while I could make out a "But mom..." or a "what if..." as she tried to bargain with me to stay for Friday. But I wasn't going to budge. Hotel rooms were paid for, tickets were purchased and I KNEW that even though she had to miss out on school on Friday that when the surprise was revealed, she would be thankful. I gave her space to mourn her loss and when she had calmed a little, I promised her we would have even more fun.

Less than 48 hours from that very moment, on Friday evening, I sat across from her at dinner in the hotel restaurant in Salt Lake City. This was the moment I chose to reveal the surprise. I passed her the tickets to the concert she had been begging to go to but wasn't coming to our town. "What is it mom?" "Read it." When she did, her face lit up as I have never seen it before. "Really?!!" "Yep" That night at the concert was one that neither of us will forget. As we danced and sang to the music, I knew she had long since forgotten about the disappointment of missing school.

I journaled this in my notebook I used for different spiritual things and while at first glance it is just a story about a mother and daughter on a fun trip, it was really about what I was learning from God. Sometimes, I throw temper-tantrums when I don't get what I want. I scream into my pillow, and plead with God, with "But God...." or "What if...", foolishly trying to convince him that my plan might be better. He lovingly stands by, comforting me and promising me that his plan is better, looking forward to surprising me when the time is right.

Just one of the MANY spiritual lessons I have learned from life as mom.