Love, Appreciation & the Death of a Hair Dryer

Fzzzz… click, click, click-click-click-click-CLICK…

And then flames bUSRT! from the end of my hair dryer. And I knew it’s life was over.

The death of my hair dryer at approximately 8:34 a.m. could not have been a more perfect way to wrap up how my morning had been going. However, I was doing my best to “keep calm and carry on” – exploding hair dryer and all.

My Big Little Helper

The morning had been nothing but a race – me versus time – and I was not winning.

In a flustered voice I shouted down the stairs to my daughter, “Could you please make sure everyone finishes breakfast?

And… practice your piano?
And… don’t forget to brush your teeth!
And… could you also give your brother his spelling words?
And… make sure you review your own spelling words too?”

As an afterthought I quickly added (in a somewhat unappreciative voice), “Please? Thank You!” and raced back to finish my hair (with my daughter’s hair dryer).

10-minutes later, I had significantly decreased the clock’s lead on my morning. However, the successful conclusion of my race against time also lay in the hands of the rest of my family – so briefly I paused my own minimal routine to check on the kids.

My daughter has a “habit” (<– her word, not mine) of not “remembering” much of what I ask her to do. Today though, as I walked down the stairs to check their statuses, I was amazed to see that my daughter had managed to successfully take care of all the demands I had somewhat rudely given her.

I said nothing, but smiled at my “big helper” and quickly jogged back up stairs to finish getting dressed.

A New Race

I stared at the site of my deceased hair dryer lying in the midst of earrings and make-up and toothpaste and deodorant. I had to finish getting ready, however my race with time now seemed secondary to the racing beat of my happy heart.

I was filled with appreciation, thanks and pride that my nearly 10-year-old daughter had supported me during my morning of stress. She probably had NO idea how much she had assisted me and I sadly thought back to how unappreciative my voice had been when I had demanded her help, coming to the immediate conclusion that:

I needed to find a special way to thank her.

So, even though my hair was not finished, the car had yet to be packed, and there were a million other things I could be doing to successfully “beat the clock,” I instead stopped everything and began writing her a long, heartfelt thank you note.

I ran downstairs, hide the note in my daughters lunch box and smiled, envisioning her lunchtime surprise and gleeful reaction as she read my unexpected note of thanks midway through her day.

Hidden Appreciation

All day long I thought about that note and how much meaning it had to me. Maybe I should try to send my children thank you notes more often?

Finally, 3:50 p.m. arrived and brought with it the school bus.

My children bUSRT! through the door anxious to complete their homework and go outside to play. I unpacked book bags, helped them finished homework, and discussed what lunch I would pack for them tomorrow (in a failed attempt to find some indication that my daughter remembered and enjoyed my lunchbox-delivered note).

As the kids ran outside to play, I reassured myself that the note had been special, even if left unrecognized. I began packing the next day’s lunch, and that’s when I noticed the piece of paper somewhat hidden in the back of the lunch box.

The note! Oh, no! Had my daughter overlooked it? Had she never read it?
My curiosity got the best of me. I had to ask.

I stopped packing lunches, opened the door to a sea of neighborhood kids and held up the note. “Honey?” I said to her – observing the expression of fear forming on her face as she worried that she was being called inside and could no longer play with her friends.

“Didn’t you read the note I left you?” I attempted to casually ask.

Her expression changed to confusion,
then relief
and finally appreciation (that she wasn’t being called away from her friends).

She glanced at the note I held tightly in one raised hand. A small look of remembrance gave me brief hope that she had seen my meaningful message.

Momentarily she stopped playing with her friends and said, “Oh, yea! THAT note. No, sorry Mom! It was waaay too long to read!”

She paused (probably noticing the look of horror disappointment on my face) and asked:

“What did it say?”

I love my daughter (and I know my daughter loves me). I appreciate my daughter (and I know my daughter appreciates me).

However (unlike the crystal clear death of a hair dryer) sometimes our love and appreciation isn’t quite as obvious.

Leave a comment: Do you think your children know when you appreciate them?


Mama’s Losin’ It

This week I am linking up to the #5 prompt from Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop: Tell us about the last thing that irritated you.

This entry was posted in Chaos, Family, Motherhood. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Love, Appreciation & the Death of a Hair Dryer

  1. Justin says:

    Sorry – had to laugh! I’ve been hanging out with a 10-year-old all weekend (and some teenage boys), and I had forgotten what life back then was like. I remember it very well, but I forgot about how different priorities were. What holds such deep meaning for us is shrugged away as pure boredom for them. It made me appreciate the “youth” of my kids and has me thinking about how I can create a different world for her – one in which we can both happily live (hopefully) – and if not, at least one in which we can appreciate and respect each other’s worlds.

    • Kate F. says:

      That is the key Justin – What holds deep meaning for us doesn’t always hold deep meaning for others. My daughter always teaches me some of my most important lessons 🙂

  2. I hope mine know when I appreciate them. I hope that they don’t just remember our “hard” moments. It’s one of my greatest hopes, actually. And that picture of you two? Gorgeous.

    • Kate F. says:

      You have to believe that they will know how much we love and appreciate them (and not just remember the hard moments). You HAVE to…

  3. Lisa KM says:

    That was so funny…..such different priorities we have! try and save that note – one day she’ll be older, or a mom herself – and you’ll be able to share a laugh. Wow, how hard it is not to walk around feeling we have their hearts in our hands. This post is a reminder to me to lighten the load!

    • Kate F. says:

      I think we definitely put more stress than necessary on ourselves as parents, particularly on how effectively we impact our kids (both positively and negatively). I most definitely DID save the note 🙂 and look forward to the day I can share this story (and others) with her as an adult with a new perspective!

  4. Jen says:

    I love the lesson here. Thank you.

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