One crucial part of parenting that we all learn, ever so painfully, is that if you say something is going to happen, and it doesn't, for reasons of sickness, or change of plans, or an act of God, there is HELL to pay.
I recall the day, like it was yesterday, that we told Olivia we were going to visit my parents for the weekend. I had held it over her head for a week, guaranteeing me divine behavior every time I whipped out the idle threat..."If you don't stop, we aren't going to Nanny and Papa's house!" numerous times a day. I dangled that weekend in front of her like a carrot. It worked like a charm. Except, that Friday morning, David called, as I was packing, and said that his whole office had not gotten paid. We had to wait until Monday. We were broke. We wouldn't be making the trip.
Let's just say, that what ensued in the hours after was painful. My screaming toddler, out of control, FOR HOURS!! I learned, in that nano-second, that until we are physically pulling into the driveway of our destination, never again will I say where we are going, and what we are doing. EVER!
Olivia is older now. 9 years old. She gets the whole concept of disappointment. Sometimes, plans change. In a flash. Someone who was supposed to sleepover can't come because she is home throwing up. The planned picnic has to be cancelled due to torrential rain. A concept we all learn, yet still have a hard time with. Disappointment stinks, but it is part of life.
Olivia wants to play the violin. She expressed an interest in it, and this is the first year she can do so at her school. I was hoping cello, as it seems way more romantic, but violin it is. All summer, every two weeks, on pay day, we have been telling her that this is the weekend we are going to rent her the violin. It is over $100.00. What I didn't figure into the cost is the music stand, the sheet music, the binder, and the shoulder rest. The cost was more than we could handle most weeks, and the summer seemed endless, with just as many paychecks stretched out before us. After bills were paid, and groceries bought, the violin was pushed to the following paycheck. And so the summer went.
But here we are, today being the first day that students must have their instrument at school, and Olivia doesn't have hers. We will be getting it all for her this weekend, as it is a pay week. But I hated seeing the look of disappointment on her face. And I hated knowing that she will be sitting in a class full of kids, for her first lesson, and she will be unprepared. Mr. Flatley, the strings teacher at her school assured me she wouldn't be the only one, and it was OK, but I felt that pang of disappointment, deep down in my gut. That feeling of always being a day late, and a dollar short, and having to scramble around to provide an extra that my kid, my hard working, smart kid, should have.
The sting of disappointment never lessens.