Yesterday I had two things happen that I think the younger version of MommyMe would have found absolutely mortifying. Yet . . . the current version of MommyMe is confidently grateful for how each situation played out.
First scenario: I had gone to pick up one daughter from Reading Camp at school and left my oldest in charge of the sleeping one and the 4 year old (I had brought the newborn with me). Upon driving into our neighborhood I phoned my oldest to let her know that I was arriving and to ask her to please open the garage for me (our opener is broken, and all the doors were triple-locked, as is her pleasure). When the garage door was open, I began to pull forward when my four year old, all bright-eyed and happy, opened the kitchen door and began to walk towards me. So I layed on the horn. Scared the crap out of her. She started bawling. This is where OldMommyMe would have felt so, so bad -- for scaring her, for making her cry. Instead, NowMommyMe immediately had the thought: "Good. She should be scared of this. And that was my intent: to scare her away from a moving vehicle."
Second scenario: I had to go to the market last night (yes, I call the grocery store 'the market') and oldest wanted to go with me. While I was doing the math in my head to add up the possibe combinations of 24 oz. or fewer of cereal, she asked if she could have an ice cream cone (from the deli). I gave her $2, told her to get two small cones, and then come find me. Since so many in my town spend their family night at the market, it was kind of crowded, but I moved swiftly to get the things I needed. Upon arriving near the milk, my phone rang. I didn't recognize the incoming number. "Hello?"
"Hi. Your daughter says she's lost you. We're at the store."
"Oh! Thank you. I'm by the milk."
"I'll let her know."
A few seconds later I saw her wheeling towards me, holding an ice cream cone in each hand. She was not smiling. I greeted her warmly and asked what happened. With tears in her eyes she told me that she couldn't find me so she looked for a mommy with kids for help.
Exactly what I've taught her to do.
OldMommyMe would have broken down and cried, a little from embarrassment, but mainly from the negative, scary thoughts of what could have happened. NowMommyMe was swelling with pride and comfort that my daughter had done the absolute right thing, showing that she'd know what to do in a more serious situation.
And now . . . yes, it really is 4:something in the morning . . . NowMommyMe is getting ready for a (mortifying) marathon day at Primary Children's Hospital involving all sorts of tests -- an experience that OldMommyMe wouldn't even be able to comprehend.