So I was asked to attend a Qatari wedding again this weekend. Truth be told, I'm actually starting to enjoy them! (Check out the post on Weddings in the ME.)
I was a little disappointed. Because I can't attend.
Why? Because my weekend schedule is fully booked.
My 7-yr-old is registered for a triathlon tomorrow. Entirely non-competitive, confidence-boosting, socially-energizing and self-validating experience for a 7-yr-old.
For a 42-yr-old mom this translates into energy-sapping, frustrating, early-weekend wakeup. I hate that good things have to happen so early on a weekend morning.
But my fun doesn't end there. Nooooooo.
Immediately following the triathlon I will embark onto a fun-filled Brownie overnight camping adventure in the desert, filled with all the requisite camel spiders, hard sleeping surfaces, boiling over toilet facilities and para-military moms (not all of them, but there ARE a few).
I wish I could fake excitement. I wish I could feign enthusiasm at braiding a friendship bracelet, leading a scavenger hunt, saluting the Brownie flag, taking on latrine duty on the 11th shift, scalding my hands as I scorch wieners over the campfire, wrestling with tent pegs and struggling to drown out the snores coming from Brownie moms who have managed to fall into a deep, dark sleep on the cold, hard ground.
But the truth is I will be out there with a few likeminded peers craving a gin and tonic, wishing I could sneak away for a smoke, dreaming of my bed and my Soldier's arms around me.
I liken the Brownie camping weekend to Hell. That probably makes me decidedly unworthy of anything worthy. But it REALLY does suck.
Yet my daughter dreams of it all year long. It is a definite highlight. She hyperventilates just thinking about it. And the most amazing thing is ... she STILL WANTS ME TO GO WITH HER.
Other girls her age are quite offended to have their moms tag along. My daughter begs me to. She says it won't be fun at all if I am not there. Check my blog next year to see if this still applies. I am one of the lucky ones.
And so my HELL becomes my REDEMPTION.
I am faced with so many options this weekend ... yet only one that pleases me; the one that displeases me the most. To spend some quality time in the stinking desert with my totally amazing daughter. To get to build some memories with her that will last a lifetime. If not for her, at least for me.
To watch her as she participates in something 'bigger than her' (see "Something Bigger Than Me"), and watch her eyes grow wide in amazement as she sees the older girls perform a skit around the campfire. To see her eyes light up with wonder as we walk through a desert trail in the night, observing the constellations, wondering what lies out there in that vast unchartered landscape. To feel her joy as she joins in in sing-along's she's practiced all year. To sense her contentment as she lies down next to me at night, safely ensconced in her sleeping bag, head nestled on her princess pillow, knowing that she is surrounded by friends of all ages, all races, all cultures, all religions, all nations, knowing that they are her peers, her equals, her sisters from different mothers.
And I will spend a torturous and sleepless night. And I will gripe about it; probably all year long. My fellow cool Brownie moms who don't attend will thank me for it. My husband will owe me for it. My daughter will love me for it. But in the end, I had an option. And this was the one that pleased me.
In the end, we always have a choice. And the choice makes the difference. I've chosen to live my life with no regrets ... this always makes me think about my options and the choices I make. One choice may give me immediate gratification and leave me with nothing in return. The other choice may give me pain and hardship in the short-term, yet leave me with a lifetime of happy memories. When you look at it that way, it becomes much easier to sort through your options.
Thank grodness I've got a galss of wine tonitgh! It's the shrot-temr gartification that'l cronvince me that tomorrow's hrardship will leaf me happy! LOL!