My daughter and I went to the swimming pool today. Our new apartment has a swimming pool. We’ve been going almost every week, sometimes twice a week. It’s all part of our new regime now that we live on our own. Every weekend now, since we live so close to so many things, we just walk around the neighborhood hand-in-hand.
We’ll walk to the bakery on Sunset and have cupcakes. We’ll walk to the mall and see a movie, hang out at the bookstore and have some lunch. She likes the macaroni and cheese at Panera. If we go to the Irish place we’ll share some Sheppard’s pie. There’s a music store on the way back that sell’s used movies and CDs. Next door to that is a restaurant that specializes in ice cream sundaes.
We have a pet now. A tortoise named, Einstein. We’ll take him to the park in front of the grocery store sometimes so he can get some fresh air, exercise and sunshine. The park is otherwise boring for my daughter, but right now the trees are giving these red flowers that make them look like a giant red umbrella we can sit under.
The grocery store is less than a block away from my apartment I can just drop in to get supplies. Sometimes I’ll cook a real meal. Then we can watch a movie on Netflix while we eat. Or sometimes we’ll read books on our own on the sofa in companionable silence. Sometimes she watches the Disney channel and I surf the net.
When it’s bedtime I turn off the lamp and there’s only the dull light of the TV that she needs in order to fall asleep. Then I sing her “Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite”. I watch muted TV and watch her fall asleep.
This right here is everything I’d hoped motherhood would be. Aside from the obvious parenting where I take her to school, make sure she’s in general good health, and that kind of thing. I’m talking about the hallmark moments. The stuff you see in the television commercials. The things women gush about when they think of becoming mothers.
I feel bad that it took me so long to get here. I feel guilty because it’s my fault entirely. I was just really unhappy with myself. And people say that if you’re unhappy you’re kids can feel it, that they’ll be affected by it. I’ve always believed this to be true. And while I wasn’t crying all the time and locking myself away in the dark, I was unhappy and it was obvious enough that people could see it. I feel very guilty about the first seven years of my daughter’s life. I wanted to give her so much and I wasn’t financially able to and that made me feel awful. And because I felt awful I just wasn’t able to have as many hallmark moments.
All the little notes she leaves around my office telling me how much she loves me just break my heart sometimes. I want everything between us to always be as good as it is now. I want to make it all up to her and be the great mom she sees me as.