Jumping puddles

There’s nothing I would have liked better than to join my daughter in the puddles in front of the small office at the county landfill.
“Come on, splash, Mommy, splash, it’s, splash, fun!!”
Her little pink boots stood out against the brown water like springtime peeking in on the county on a dreary March day.
Her giggles were infectious, and I so wanted to join her.
But with a contract signing later that day with a bride- and groom-to-be, I opted instead to slip into the backseat of my car and pull out my camera.
“Splash.” “Click.” “Sploooosh.” “Click.”
She cavorted, and I captured it.
Her blonde ponytail bouncing, her little knees bending and then jump . . . “Splash.”
I’d like to say I’m the parent who gives in to these moments, who can clearly see the difference between kids being kids and kids being bratty kids.
More often there are a hundred thoughts rushing through my brain as I say “no” to the lollipop at the bank because we’re headed to the newspaper office and I can’t have sticky hands all over my computer or “let’s go” when she just wants one more go-round on the slide when I have to get to Rock Hill for an interview.
Instead I cling fast to the moments when I just let go. When I let her hop from puddle to puddle, ignoring the water wicking up the legs of her jeans, turning a blind eye to the brown spots at the base of her curls.
Reporting is a job that can be done from anywhere – in part because it’s a job that must be done from everywhere.
It led a pregnant me to believe it would be easy to meet the demands of both job and motherhood with style and grace.
It’s led countless people to eye my sweatshirt and jeans, my lack of make-up, my pockets bulging with toys and baggies of pretzels and shake their head.
“Oh, but you’re so lucky,” they tell me. “You just don’t know how lucky you are.”
I am lucky.
You might say I’ve hit the mother load!
Husband, daughter and career I love – well, one can have it all, it seems.
And once in awhile, when the subject of my interview stands outside egging my daughter on with a wide grin as she bounces from one foot to the other in the muddy water, I remember why.

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