As we stood in line waiting to place our few items on the till, I felt relieved that the weekend was almost over. It had been a busy one and my best friend Natalie and I had been involved in another friend’s wedding. We had just collected her daughter from her father’s place where she had spent the night. We had to grab a few much needed items at the grocery store on the way home so that she could make lunch for her daughter for daycare that week. Natalie and I didn’t often get to spend a whole weekend together, but we enjoyed every moment of it. Her daughter was only 4 and it was much easier to let her father have her for the night than for us to try and keep her entertained at the wedding. He wasn’t always involved or willing to spend time with her, so when he agreed the month before to have her overnight for this weekend, we were glad. He wasn’t a bad father, he just had other priorities and wasn’t always conventional in the way he did things. He called his daughter names but with loving emotion to the way he said it. Making “Booger face” or something like it, seem affectionate and normal. The poor kid had no idea what she was really being called. She knew she was loved and when he made the time for her, she had fun at least.
“Did you have fun at Daddy’s?” Natalie asked trying to distract her daughter from fidgeting in line and bothering the other customers.
“Yup, and I got to eat pizza!” She said looking up at her mother with a big grin.
“Oh yeah, real healthy food.” Dripping with sarcasm “And I am sure you went to bed on time too. Didn’t you?”
“Nope, Daddy forgot to look at the clock. We watched the whole princess movie!”
“Well, at least it wasn’t another fast and furious one.”
“No I told Daddy those was in-a, in-a-popp-ee-at.” She tried to sound out the word.
“Inappropriate.” Natalie corrected her.
“Good for you!” I chimed in.
The line moved ahead and the next person in line unloaded their basket onto the conveyor belt. We were next and moved up to prepare to do the same. The cashier moved quickly and placed a plastic bar behind the order she was working on so we could add ours to the belt. As Natalie placed her basket on the floor and started to put her items on the belt, her daughter reached up to grab her mother’s face. One hand on each cheek, she brought her face down close to her own.
“Mommy?” In a very serious tone.
“Yes sweetie?” We could both feel everyone around us waiting and listening in anticipation of what this serious child was going to say.
“Mommy, you’re my little hemorrhoid!” She said it with such a loving tone and a smile. Then she let go of her mother and bent down to help lift the groceries onto the belt, like nothing had occurred. She had no idea what she had just said, but we all heard her loud and clear. Many were laughing around us and a few whispers and shocked “Oh” reactions were heard. I was shocked and left with a wide eyed stunned look on my face.
“Thanks Hun, I love you too.” Natalie managed to say as she turned multiple shades of red. Then quietly she mumbled to me with a clenched jaw, “That man is so dead.”
“Yet another way of teaching him about the word ‘inappropriate’.” I retort and I couldn’t help but smile.
“I gotta say though” Natalie turned to me, “I may regret the marriage but I don’t regret having her.”
“Ya, she’s a pretty good kid and plenty entertaining.” I say with an affectionate look in her direction and reach down to tickle her.
Now when I am standing in line somewhere and I see a mom struggling with an impatient child, I think back to that moment and I have to smile. Of all the things our kids can do to embarrass us in a crowd, this one tops them all for me.
About the author
Life is an adventure and sometimes the adventure is figuring out who you are and why you have learned so many odd skills years before. I think it is time to share my adventures in stories my imagination has been aching to create.