On Tuesdays, I hang out with my daughter
I have a commitment.
It’s the kind of promise that is easy to break, and sometimes I think it’s not worth it because the pull of work is so strong.
Except when my daughter reminds me:
“It’s Mommy and Ava day today!”
We started “Mommy and Ava Day” three years back, when I transitioned from flexible contract work to a full time job. Ava requested one afternoon where I picked her up when school ended so we had time together.
Caring for my daughter is fleeting and transient. Each year she ages she needs me less for what I do for her (she can bathe, clothe, and make lunch herself), but she still needs me. I’m reminded of this every Tuesday afternoon, when I show up at her school, wait outside the doors as school lets out, chat idly with other parents.
She grins when she sees me. Even though she’s a big fifth grader now, I still get hugs in front of friends. “How was your day, Mommy?” she asks.
I always answer honestly. “Today was rough because of (this problem or that problem)” or “Today was great, I figured out a problem I’ve been struggling with for a week!”
On our brief drive home, I’ll ask about her day.
“My day was horrible,” she said today, “I am so glad it’s Tuesday.” She tells me how volleyball was horrible, because she’s the smallest in her class, and missed the ball. She tells me how she was disappointed because her class didn’t have a math quiz today and how she loves math. (I try not to be obviously excited.)
When we get home from school, we have a ritual.
We put away all electronics, even my phone. Ava’s father does his best to stay away until after 6pm, to give us this time together.
Then Ava grabs a stool & pulls out all of the ice cream from the freezer while I grab the chocolate sauce from a high shelf. One of us grabs the whipped cream and cherries. Maybe I toast & chop some almonds. We make a colossal yummy concoction of ice cream that we jokingly call a “Tuesdae.”
We dive into one bowl with two spoons and chat about everything.