“I Didn’t Know Where You Were!”

“I didn’t know where you were!” Pica (Priscilla’s nickname) stuck out her lips in a quivery pout…
She wasn’t scolding me. She was afraid. And she did her trademark kissy face because now she was embarassed. She wrapped her arms around my jeans. She might cry. “Mommy I didn’t know where you were!” she demanded again, hugging my waist. No tears… yet… but her eyebrows were precariously poised and by the pink color between them meant she could let loose with a six year old wail any minute. I saw her forehead’s tiny “stork bite,” normally faded, except for when she cries, starting to get splotchy.

My sweet Priscilla. So serious. So perfectionistic. So…fatalistic. This was the girl who at age 4 rendered one cold, evening’s flat tire experience (scary as it was) sufficient evidence to deem the entire episode the “WORST day of my life!” in tears. Did I say she was FOUR?

So now, here we are in Stonebriar mall. In the second most requested spot: Pottery Barn Kids (the carousel is number one). This may not be the same for families with boys, but mini tables and chairs and toy ironing boards and kid’s furniture sets in pink, white and purple and fairies and flowers and Aloha themes and mini-telephones oooooh and did you see the alarm clock that you can plug your iPod into?! It’s HOT pink? – screams out my daughters’ names from the parking lot… We have spent countless memory making moments in that store. The employees know us. Well, they pretty much run for cover when we come… Even though we have been known for single-handedly increasing their company stock by 4%… I think it’s because between the 5 of us (me and the girls) we pretty much touch and try every single pink thing in the store. Usually my husband, Tim seems to make a coffee run or restroom break or phone call if we are entering Pottery Barn and he’s with us… Probably in an effort to try and salvage his wallet and his masculinity by not shopping in AND living in Pinkville.

But here was my quiver-lipped Pica. And I was to blame. She needed an answer. Where had I disappeared to? The issue was simply that she hadn’t followed me. She had been playing in the retro pink toy kitchen display at the back of the store and I had meandered to the entrance at the front of the store. And that’s where Priscilla found me standing with her sisters and Grandma and Aunties… and she was scared/ relieved/ embarassed/ insecure…

My answer? I couldn’t blame her. I could tell she was relieved to find me. But I was surprised she was this bent out of shape. The fact is, I hadn’t called her to follow me yet. I knew she was ok where she was. There was only one entrance and exit to the store and I stood by it. There was no risk of kidnapping and very little risk of fire, drowning or choking in the lapse of 2 minutes and 25 ft between us…

My only defense against this potential tearful torrent:
“But sweetie… I knew where YOU where!”

She was relieved. That settled it. The lips unpursed. Not a smile, yet, though. This one’s too melancholy for that quick of a rebound. But the splotchiness in her face started to fade. Her grip became a hug and she slowly stepped back to peruse her surroundings. You could see her mind forming a new question: What can I play with in THIS section of the store?

My little Priscilla. I would never leave her. I knew exactly where she was. And once she knew that, she was fine again.

It reminded me, right there… in Pottery Barn Kids, in Stonebriar Mall, in Frisco, Texas, USA that even if I forgot to look up…

God knows where I am.

even if I don’t see where He is..
even if I get distracted by something that’s hot pink with buttons…
even if I forget to watch where He goes so I can follow…

He knows where I am. And He’ll never leave me.

That’s enough for me.

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5 thoughts on ““I Didn’t Know Where You Were!”

  1. What a wonderful story. You have such a talent. Have you ever considered making these into a book & publishing it? If you do, please let me know….I want to be one of the First to buy it. You are incredible….I truly love your talent & your children. ❤

  2. “… I hadn’t called her to follow me yet.”
    Feeling all Pica-like right now! Your blogs are amazing!! Beautifully written, entertaining, heart-warming and challanging all at the same time! You are a great example. Thank you for sharing your talent and insight with us!

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