“Tossing Around Words Like Honor…& Panties”


“Are you a good mom because you spoke in a mean voice & took away my panties?” –Ahem. Let me clarify. Please–or why don’t I let you in on the whole conversation?

“Honey”, I said, lovestruck, gazing down at my gutsy, spunky daughter. She was now, for the fifth time, back under her sheet and cover, snug as a bug in a rug (“No, a kitty”, she corrected. “I’m as snug as a kitty under my “blanklelet”‘).

I smooth her soft, just conditioned hair. “I love being your mother.” How can I not smile smile smile in the company of this girl? Her eyes light up, shining, “WHY?” She leans forward ready to lap up my free-flowing compliments.

I tell her of the hugging, the kissing, the snuggling, reading, dancing, laughing, playing, all of it. How she is the best daughter, better than I could have dreamed of.

Then she asks her funny above question involving my mean voice & panty-taking.

Okay, continue. We’re now caught-up.

“Do you think I’m a good mother because I spoke in a mean voice & took away your panties?” Nod.
Can’t let it stop there.

“And why did I take your panties away??”

Aha. “Because I was mad and threw them at you.”


You were a good mommy to do that so I could learn.”

“And did you?”

Okay, then. We’re all on the same panty page.

The girl’s got grit. She’s increasingly independent & she’s realising, with increasing vehemence, that she wants the space. She’s learning how to state her needs, how to politely use her strength instead of literally pushing me away…or chucking Princess Belle panties at me.

I will always adore the firecracker kids–the ones who light up with stuff to say. Always big things, messing things. Intelligent choices & some big errors, too.

One of my favorite students to teach ever was Emanuel, first grade. His low point, behaviorallly? Urinating on the cafeteria floor from his lunch seat.

Sweet points? They abound. How bout any first grader who turns to me & says, “Mrs. Rifkin (maiden), he really let himself go.” Ha.

Like I was saying, I love the punky spunky, muy inteligente kids. I’ll take them any day over quiet kiddos who don’t have the same kind of big ideas rattling around in their brains.

I choose my girl & her sometimes rough, always fabulously tender, “I won’t let you go” sweetness. You can let ’em fly (the panties that is). This love is hard to shake.

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