I bought my daughter a pink umbrella last week. The weather has been treating us better these days. The snow is melting and having her wear snow pants is a bit of a hassle. So off we go to our favourite Big Box Store- Walmart- to pick up slush pants, rain boots and a rain coat.
I know my daughter has this thing for umbrella’s. I spot them first and I am trying my best to keep her eyes from darting in the direction of seeing a bin filled with colourful umbrella’s. Ones which are perfectly sized for her six year old hands. I tried my best but she sees the umbrella’s. Or maybe they see her. However, the meeting of my daughter’s eyes and the umbrella’s handle happened, it was the moment, my heart screamed out, “NO!”
You may be wondering why, a mother would be screaming over a bin of umbrella’s in a Walmart. Well, last year we went through the umbrella stage. It was horrible, she brought that thing everywhere we went. When the thing finally broke, I was both elated and defeated. First, she screamed and cried over it for weeks. Second, she screamed and cried over it for weeks. I wanted that umbrella back, just so the crying would stop. I never did find another umbrella made for a little girl. Well, I never tried hard enough.
So my daughter runs over to this bin and rumbles through it. I stand back, with tears streaking down my face. I am exaggerating, but I was scared again to go through this umbrella stage. I knew what I was up against.
I watch her as she picks this one, no the other one, no this one, then finally chooses the right one. They were all the same, colour, size and shape. She spins around to face me, this eager crazy look on her face. I was scared. I try to fight back, but I am too weak. She demands to have this umbrella. It’s spring time now, she will need it. I try to speak up, to use my mommy voice, but she is not having any of that. We are getting this umbrella, I just know it.
Her little smile on her face, tells me that this will make her happy. After all, my job as a mother is to sacrifice my own happiness for hers. She gets the pink umbrella.
We bring the umbrella home with us. We did not get the slush pants or rain coat. She didn’t care after she found the pink umbrella. I didn’t look for the raincoat or the slush pants, she didn’t need them. After all, she has the umbrella to protect her from getting wet.
This pink umbrella comes everywhere with us, on our walks, in the car, to school and to the grocery store. It’s been a part of the family for five days. I remind her everyday, make sure you don’t hurt anyone with that umbrella. Make sure you listen to the teacher if she tells you to put it away. You don’t need the umbrella, it’s not raining right now. Get in the car, you don’t need to open the umbrella right now.
It has only rained for one day. But wherever we go, this umbrella follows us. I think we need to name it soon. I think the pink umbrella knows we are at odds.
When I watch my daughter carry this umbrella around, I can’t for the life of me understand what is it about this umbrella that makes her so happy. I watch as she slowly gets out of the vehicle, opens up the pink umbrella so very carefully, raise the umbrella above her head and gently bring it down with such grace. Then she smiles, the biggest smile ever and walks very slowly, enjoying every step, every moment as her pink umbrella protects her. We still only had one day of rain, but she proudly exclaims, “in case it rains, or snows, or there is too much sun!”
I stand back watching this love story unfold with my daughter and her pink umbrella. I feel a bit jealous. Does she feel the same way about me as she feels about this umbrella, does she enjoy every step with me, every moment that we share. Does my daughter smile so proudly when she thinks about the time we spend together.
What am I thinking? It’s an umbrella, a pink umbrella, for a six year old. I need to ask my mother if something happened to me with an umbrella when I was a kid, because for my sanity I need to know. Which umbrella messed with my head. It’s only a pink umbrella. I think it is growing on me.
We have only had one day of rain so far. The pink umbrella is here to stay and my daughter is happy.