By TODAY show editor Sara Pines, a.k.a. Sandwich Mom
This week, I asked my nearly 5-year-old why she didn’t have school Monday and she replied, “It was three kings day.” I said, no, it was Martin Luther King Day. She replied, without missing a beat, “It still has a king in it.”
Couldn’t argue with that.
I asked her if she’d learned about Martin Luther King in school. She said she had, and it was a holiday about sharing. “Everybody should have the same,” she offered. I liked that thought. I tried to explain that he wanted everyone to be treated the same no matter what they looked like or what color their skin was. That seemed to go right past her. She was pretty adamant that it was a holiday about sharing and everyone having the same thing. Then, “I’m good at sharing.” And she is.
It was a satisfying Mommy moment.
A striking contrast to Saturday, which was a busy day for us: back to back to back activities, interrupted by a subway error on my part that forced us to walk a lot farther than expected through a pretty but unfamiliar part of Manhattan. She was complaining. I was impatient. She was hungry. I was frustrated. I was happy to spend the day with her going to our semi-regular Saturday morning Shabbat celebration, making new friends, seeing old friends, checking out a college basketball game. But, because I was working different hours the week before, our rhythm was a little off-kilter and while there were no major meltdowns – for either of us – it wasn’t the smoothest day.
We managed to squeeze in a quick visit to my Dad in the nursing home. This time he didn’t even eat the candy Isabelle picked out to share with him. Since he’s in the end stages of the brutal disease known as dementia, he doesn’t speak, so I don’t know if he didn’t want it because he’d just had lunch or didn’t like the taste or just didn’t even know what we were putting to his lips. We left after a few minute of holding his hand, a quick shoulder rub and a kiss. I don’t cry anymore. But I am heartbroken.
The beauty of my live-in-the-moment and generally happy daughter is that she was just thrilled to have the candy and a kiss with Gramps and was out the door and on to the next activity without any sadness or too much reflection. After all, she’s a good sharer.
Couldn’t argue with that.
And maybe I can learn something.
TODAY Moms contributor Sara Pines is an editor at TODAY and has been working with the show in various capacities for 17 years. She is a single mom of a beautiful 4-year-old daughter and a native New Yorker.