Being There

cherry trees

Eighty percent of success is showing up. – Woody Allen

“Mom, can you come to Lap Club today?”

I looked up at Ruby over my smoothie.  When I did Lap Club, lo before I had a full-time job, I only went on Tuesdays. Twice a week seemed overmuch to stand outside and punch little holes in colored cards for kids running around a dirt track.

Since I started work just over a month ago, I felt something had to give.  That something was Lap Club. Now, it’s 12:15 to 12:40. Smack dab in the middle of my lunch time, it makes for a hectic hour. I hated to miss seeing Ruby, but I didn’t see how I could make it work.

“Well…I have plans already,” I hedged.  “I will try, but I can’t promise anything.”

I don’t like changing plans.  I had a friend who would flake out about 80% of the time we’d carefully scheduled to do lunch together.  It drove me, the planner, nuts. It make her seem uncaring.  Not the case, yet I felt that way just the same.

I edged out of my plans, feeling like a crumb. My gracious friend told me to take advantage of this time.

“There may come a day when she doesn’t want you around,” she said.

True.  I’ve experienced it already with my other child. Always painful, I know it will happen someday.

“Soak it up for as long as you can.”

Before the kids escaped, I greeted Ruby in the lunchroom.

“I didn’t think you were coming!” she said.

I smiled. She smiled.

So I went to Lap Club. The outside air smelled like cherry blossoms.  The overcast sky, steely gray, threatened rain and stayed dry. I watched her run around the track, a pink and black speck in the middle distance. I realized I wasn’t actually with her for very long. Then I thought of all the years I’d played a part in Lap Club. Sometimes, just being there is enough.

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