Portrait of Amanda, Hazel and Nora, by Austin artist, Ray Ray Mitrano
It’s a snow day in Austin, which is funny because there’s no snow and it isn’t even that cold. But last night, the school district sent us a message at 5:30 in the evening to let us know that everything is cancelled for today—no school and no afterschool activities due to inclement weather. The news came at just the right time. The girls and I finished dinner, got ready for bed and then we snuggled under some covers on the pullout couch to watch a movie – an activity usually reserved for the weekend.
Hazel wanted to watch the Paddington Bear movie; therefore, so did Nora. I was pulling for Night at the Museum, and I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit that I whined just a wee bit when it looked like I would lose the vote. The girls acquiesced.
The movie was entertaining, but the best part of the evening was being in the presence of the girls, not care taking or attending, but enjoying their company. As they grow and change, I can see that though they are my children and we are connected in many wonderful ways, they are their own persons. They have their own particular dharma, or path, ahead. I liked listening to Hazel really laugh at the jokes that would have been above her head a year ago and seeing that she still giggles at the silly kid-humor, too. Nora and I sat next to each other on the couch and she leaned into me just a bit. I could feel her startle at all the scary parts of the movie and giggle at the cheesiest jokes. At the end of the movie, she stood up on our wobbly pull-out bed and danced all of that stuff out of her little system, moving to the music that accompanied the closing credits while Hazel and I laughed from our bellies at her antics. We were all happy to be together, and I continue to be grateful that my dharma is intertwined with each of theirs.