My Crystal Ball Is Broken. Waiting Sucks.

My crystal ball’s been on the fritz ever since I accidentally left it in the backyard and my son peed on it. Be careful with your crystal ball is what I’m saying; apparently your fairy godmother is only allowed to issue one per mama (would’ve been nice to know that ahead of time), and if you don’t care for yours responsibly you don’t get a new one no matter how many letters you write or how much you beg. Stingy creatures, fairy godmothers. Probably related to that unreliable, late night beer-drinker, the Tooth Fairy.

If you’ve ever tried to work this mama gig without a crystal ball then you know, like me, that sometimes you don’t get to see into the future and you have to just wait.

Waiting sucks.


You know. Like when you’re waiting to see if your kid is going to grow up to be a productive, helpful member of society or land in juvie for cutting out your spleen in a bloodbath in the middle of the night because you just made her clean her room for the last time, MOTHER.

Once upon a time, I wanted a crystal ball in a bad way. My kid was lonely, friendless, miserable, and inventing creative new ways to get suspended. Even though more experienced mamas assured me that we’d all be fine… that this was just a phase… that kids learn social skills at different times… I wondered. I mean, really. There are only so many calls you can get from the principal (and so many bottles of wine you can offer her in your head) before the wondering runs rampant.

Fast forward to this week with me, please.

My kid and I attended an evening meeting at school, and there at the door to greet all of the families and hand out informational sheets was the brand new principal. Now, my kid had run ahead of me and so we entered the building separately, mashed in with other families. And that’s when the most stunning thing happened.

Mrs. Principle looked at my kid — this lovely girl child who was born in Guatemala and wears her elegant, long nose and her creamy brown skin and her curly black hair with great pride — and said, “Do you need this paper in English or Spanish?”

And my kid stopped, looked back for me, and hollered, “Hey, Mom! Do we want this paper in English or Spanish? How about Spanish, Mom? PLEASE?”

“I didn’t do that well in high school Spanish,” I admitted to Mrs. Principal. “We’d better take it in English.”

“MOM,” Aden said, disappointed I wasn’t a better sport. “Come on.”

“Just wanted to make sure,” Mrs. Principal said with a smile, clearly hoping I wouldn’t be offended that she didn’t know Aden or me or the languages we speak.

I smiled back and took my hand-out with a level of glee that probably seemed out of place for the situation. But oh, Mrs. Principal, I thought. You don’t know that you just made my day. You don’t know how ELATED I am right now. You don’t know that I am going to JUMP FOR JOY when I get home and repeat this tiny story to my husband AT HIGH VOLUME because this is just exactly what I hoped to see in my broken crystal ball just a few short years ago. 

You guys. You guys! I am the mother of a kid the principal doesn’t even know. 


(And alright, Waiting. Fine. You win this round.)



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12 responses to “My Crystal Ball Is Broken. Waiting Sucks.”

  1. Beth,
    Just so you know, you give me hope. I read your blog every few days or so and I when I’m done, I don’t feel like a total failure as a mom. For example, my mom fell a few days ago and broke her leg. I have spent most of my days and some nights at the hospital with her, seeing my 12 year old son very little this week. I was feeling guilty for not seeing him that much since I’ve been with my mom. On a guilt trip one afternoon this week, I left mom early and I picked my son up from school, only to find that it was actually picture day. My heart fell. He was dressed in a ratty t-shirt and plaid shorts that I grabbed because they were clean and I had to send him off to his dad’s house the night before. I was patting myself on the back because his clothes were clean and he had underwear and socks while I was dividing myself between home and the hospital. I thought I was doing GREAT because we still had clean clothes and underwear! (I judge all success of motherhood based on clean clothes and underwear. It’s the measuring point – ha ha). Then, I find out I missed “Picture Day”. I remembered your post about “Good and Enough”. Gave me some hope that even though I was a day late and a dollar short, it doesn’t make me a bad mom. It makes me human.
    Guilt is the enemy of motherhood. Sigh.

    Thanks for the glimmer of hope.

    • Yes, Kim. This: “Guilt is the enemy of motherhood.” I’m raising my glass to you today, mama. You are doing GREAT THINGS, being there for your mom, caring for your son, and doing it all as a human being. Thank you for your kindness in sharing your story. And I’m sending you buckets of love. xoxo, mama.

  2. The dream of every airline pilot at his own retirement party is to overhear the Chief Pilot whisper to his secretary, “When the guest of honor arrives, point him out. I’ve never met the guy.” Aden flies below the radar! Well done girl.

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