The Stations of the Cross and Mom Guilt

mardigras2Today is Fat Tuesday, which means tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent for those, like myself, who ascribe to the Catholic faith. Both of my children go to a catholic grade school, so the upcoming four weeks are filled with all sorts of events. I wish I was better informed about all of these events a couple of years ago, but I guess we learn as we live.

My daughter is in second grade, which is a very special time in Catholicism. Second graders go through First Confession (or Reconciliation) and First Communion. Because this is such a special year for them, the second graders often get to do other special Catholic things. For example, during Lent, it is the second graders in my daughter’s class who get to perform the stations of the cross for the entire school. My daughter will be playing the part of a Roman Soldier and will get to push around Jesus. She’s kind of excited about it. She thinks soldiers are cool.

My son is not as happy, because two years ago, when his class did their presentation of the stations of the cross, I missed it.

You see, two years ago, he didn’t convey to me that he was memorizing his part so that he could act out the stations in front of the whole school and any parents who could take time off work in the middle of the day to attend. He didn’t tell me that he expected me (needed me) to be there. He didn’t convey any of this. Instead, I went along thinking that this was something only his class was doing as a class activity in his class room. Smaller venue. Parents welcome but not necessary. I didn’t plan on attending. Work being work, there was plenty of things at the office to keep me busy on the day of the performance.

When he got home on that day, he told me through tears in his eyes, that when he looked into the audience and didn’t see me, he figured he just couldn’t see me. I must be behind someone, because I would have come. He just knew it. He knew I wouldn’t miss it. He told his friends that I must have been there and he just missed me. Disappointing him absolutely broke my heart then and breaks my heart every single day since.

He says he has forgiven me, but he’s never forgotten. The pain, for him, seems to be as fresh now as when he was in second grade. As his sister goes on and on about the stations and her part and how she wants me there, he almost can’t listen. I’ll catch him with a tear in his eye, and he’ll look away.

There’s nothing I can do to go back and change it. There’s nothing I can do to remove his disappointment that I wasn’t there that one time. One time. I’ve been there for every single other thing. I have made time for holiday parties at daycare and grade school. I’ve taken time off work to come read to his class, or bake and host a party or go on field trips. I’ve been that Mom who attends everything. I work full time, but I have made it a point to attend every single event that I knew about. I only have to know about it.

We learned from this. He knows now that he needs to better communicate things. He can’t just expect I’m psychic (although I come close with my kids), but it doesn’t undo it. It doesn’t make him forget that I wasn’t there the one time he really wanted me to be there.

And there is nothing I can do to change it.

Being a Mom who is cursed with being human is very, very hard.
RSM

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About rocketsciencemom
I am a rocket scientist in my day job, and a mother of two all the time. I'm a pop culture addict and amateur artist in my spare time. My typical preferences tend toward sci-fi and fantasy genres but I love a good drama or comedy. Reading the blogs of fellow Lost fans over the years has motivated me to finally write my own. In addition to starting this blog, I have been writing for the parenting blog GNMParents under the name RocketScienceMom (or RSM for short). All drawings and images on this blog are property of RocketScienceMom

One Response to The Stations of the Cross and Mom Guilt

  1. Pingback: Things have a strange way of working out | Rocket Science and kids

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