I had hoped she couldn’t tell. After all, she’s in the back seat of my SUV, munching on the brownie I gave her, looking through her bag to see if she remembered to pack her ballet shoes.
Every Tuesday I do this. In fact, she reminds me of this fact now. “Madre, how many times have you driven me to ballet school?”
I curse softly under my breath. Since September. I pick her up from school once a week at 3:45 and sign her out of her after-school class, beaming at the way she jumps for joy when she sees me walk through the door. She shares whatever snack they’re eating: graham crackers, gold fish, today chowder crackers, and then she races to the hallway to pick up her backpack.
While doing all of the above, Sophie chatters like a Bohemian parrot: “Did you know that Calamity Jane was friends with Wild Bill Hickok? She was a true American frontierswoman.”
On and on she goes. Her energy reverberates up my spine, through my scalp, and into my soul.
“I’m not going to use Suzie today,” I bravely suggest to Sophie as I start the car this afternoon. The drive from her school to the ballet studio is 6.2 minutes, according to Suzie, my phone’s talking GPS.
Sophie rolls her pretty blue eyes and chuckles.
While I drive Suzie-less, Sophie goes on and on about her drama class, in which she’s practicing her role as Calamity Jane. We discuss the definitions of “calamity,” and 11 minutes later, I mumble something.
“What?” Sophie asks.
“I’m lost,” I admit.
Sophie sighs, not judgmentally, but with a twisted smile. “Better turn on Suzie.”
“Sure,” Sophie responds immediately.
“Let’s not tell anyone I got lost again, okay? Just our little secret.”
Sophie smirks. “Okay.”
The next day, I get a text from Sophie’s other grandmother. “Saw Sophie today; first thing she said to me was ‘Madre got lost going to ballet!’”
A day later, I heard from my daughter that Sophie’s 3-year-old little brother had a new mantra that day: “Madre got lost! Madre got lost! Madre got lost.”