It’s amazing to me how in tune I can sometimes be with my kids. Mia was nervous all yesterday about a new theatre camp she was doing this week. I had practically bribed her to do it because we want to see what the theatre school is like, and the production, Hairspray, is not something she’s familiar with. But my brave little girl went off this morning without a hitch (amazing for the kid who used to have the most awful separation anxiety). But I had a knot in my stomach. She didn’t know anyone and it all felt foreign. I hadn’t explained to them that she’s really sensitive. And sometimes she gets a tummy ache when she’s nervous. And I left her, clutching a handful of papers, only to notice that her performance was on Sunday, not Friday as we had thought. And on Sunday, we were expecting 40 kids and as many adults over for a barbeque. So do I decide to send Mia to her performance on Sunday with our Au Pair? Leave her at the theatre while we all ate burgers at home? Darian and I settled on making a decision tonight, when she was home from her first day.
But at noon, a little voice called me, reasonably cheerfully, to say that they had asked her to call and check that she was still going to make it to the performance on Sunday. And I said of course. That we would move the BBQ. That she should consider it done. And I asked her if she was having fun. And she said yes. And I put down the phone with an even tighter knot in my stomach.
Because even though she said it was fun, and repeated that when I collected her from camp, I knew that it wasn’t. I sensed her discomfort. And when one of the counsellors asked if she was feeling better, and she said she’d had a tummy ache after her audition, I knew that I was right. I don’t know if it was the grip of her hand, less enthusiastic than usual, or the slight tension in the corner of her eyes that only a mom can recognize. But I knew that she wasn’t completely comfortable.
And therein lies the question: was she not comfortable because I wasn’t? Or was I not comfortable because she wasn’t?
All I know is that tomorrow I want her to have the best day ever possible, and now I have a knot in my stomach in case she won’t.