What I would give now to have that moment back, to return to that period in our family life when my girls were little, growing and generally thriving, when the stress was sometimes profound but the joys were even more so.
One of my worst mothering moments took place in about 1990, when my daughters were 10 and 6. They were very busy all day working on my Mother's Day present in my older daughter's bedroom, and when they finally came downstairs in the late afternoon they were giggly with excitement, eager to give it to me. Turns out they had created a puppet show, and they crouched behind the living room couch with their hand-made puppets acting it all out. I don't remember much about the plot or the principles, only that the show went on for a long long time, and I was, to my embarrassment, annoyed and disappointed. What had I hoped they were working on upstairs with such delight? Something I could wear? A poem about the wonderfulness of me? Whatever I had hoped for, I hadn't gotten it, and I remember trying to keep my disappointment to myself yet managing to make it clear to my beloved daughters that I was less than thrilled by their gift.