I bought some roses yesterday, along with a beautiful spray of baby’s breath.

The Peanut spotted them at the store a week or so ago, and wanted them more than anything in the whole wide world…because they "smelled like summertime, momma, and I need some sunshine."

But we were in a hurry that day, and the store was not the last stop on my endless "to do" list that day, so I said no.

After my "sweetheart, we can’t get them because they will just wilt in the car" excuse and my endless list of other things we had to do before we went home to put them in water didn’t convince her that it was a bad idea, I had to resort to a "because I said so."

Gawd, I hate that.

For the few days since then, her little crestfallen face haunted me — not only because I’m a pushover, but because my lifetime of training to put my needs off to take care of others was spilling over onto her.

We had to run errands to get things for dinner, which I had to go home and cook…because everyone in the house needed to eat. We had to get various things for the house and for a couple of gifts for other people that week for assorted birthdays and an anniversary.

We had to…had to…had to.

But was I saying to her that her needs came behind all of those others? Or teaching a lesson in waiting for something that she really wanted until it finally became time to get it:  patience and virtue wrapped in a you can’t always get what you want package.

Being a parent can be tough.  

And I constantly find myself wrestling with the impulse to buy her what she wants and knowing full well that buying things isn’t really about need and that she should learn that sooner rather than later in life. Knowing that joy doesn’t come from things at all — it comes from intangibles.

As Thomas Jefferson said, "It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which gives happiness." How many times have I found that to be true?

But can you comprehend that when you are merely six, and really only six as of yesterday?

I didn’t think so, either.

Which is why I bought the roses. They are beautiful — a peachy pink that reminds me so much of ballet slippers from my childhood with just the lightest hint of cream around the edges. And they smell like heaven, perfuming the whole room with a musky rose smell that does bring you a whiff of warm summer if you close your eyes and think of sunshine.

When The Peanut said, "Momma, you should keep them on your desk, and then we can both love them together," I realized a couple of things: one, I need to buy myself flowers more often because these are really a lovely pick-me-up and two, my child is awfully wise for her age. I hope she stays that way.

Life goes by so quickly.  I’m so glad that we both stopped, if only for a moment yesterday, to stop and smell those roses together. 

How are things with you? Pull up a chair…

PS — Thanks so much to everyone who donated last weekend — it is very, very much appreciated

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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