I’m learning to really appreciate brief moments in time these days, rather than looking at the big picture. You see, I’m the mother of a teenager. Big picture means a petulant, critical, moody and reclusive young lady who really doesn't like me too much and is in endless need of cash resides in my house. But just when I’m about ready to run away from home, I get a glimpse of who I hope my daughter will become someday – a sweet, engaging, smiling, witty, intelligent person who I’d be delighted to know even if she wasn't the fruit of my loins.
This morning was one of those days. I am generally called upon to wake Allie up after she has silenced her own alarm several times. My arrival is usually met with scowls, complaints, and a violent toss of the covers over her head. I learn that a 7:20 start time for high school is ridiculous, that teachers who assign too much homework are vindictive, that having sporting practice on a day that is too warm/cold/sunny/cloudy is insane, and that the mere idea of school is just plain cruel.
This morning, though, I must have caught her during a good dream. She actually giggled as I gently shook her awake, mumbled something I didn't quite catch, and appeared to fall back asleep. Then she thanked me for waking her up, sat up with a smile, greeted the dog with a kind word, and dutifully went off to start her morning routine. We had an actual conversation in the kitchen, and she remembered to say goodbye – with a smile.
I know the child that comes home at 2:30 will probably be quite different. She may roll her eyes in greeting, complain about something she encountered on her way home, grab a bag of chips, and sulk off to her room. I know that the little glimpse I saw this morning was as fleeting as a butterfly sipping nectar on a flower. But I will relish it all day as it gives me hope that the tough days of motherhood may soon be replaced with the sweet reward of discovering the human she will become.