"Mommy, I had the worst day!" my 7-year-old tells me over the phone.
"Why, sweetie?" I ask thinking this is an odd statement for a usually happy child.
"Three things: First I didn't get my lunch order so all I had was applesauce and those healthy crackers I don't like," she says with tears in her voice. I make a mental note to check the website where I order lunch to find out what happened to her chicken nuggets.
"And?" I reply.
"And, I left my water bottle in Jordan's car. But I haven't even gotten to the worst thing," she says, her voice crackling.
"What is it baby?" I say with honest concern.
"We played capture the flag in P.E., and because my team was so good at defense - you know there is an offense and defense, right? You know that?" She says momentarily slipping out of her funk to instruct me on the rules of the game.
"Sure, go on," I reply.
"Well, we were so good at defending the flag, that our team never got a chance to play offense. I never got to go for the flag," she says as if this last anecdote explains everything about her bad day - it is the icing on the proverbial 7-year-old bad day cake.
"Wow, that is a bad day," I stay, stifling a chuckle at her cuteness that is oozing through the phone. "But tomorrow will be better."
"How do you know, Mommy?" she says with a pleading voice.
"I know because I'm your mother, and I will say a little prayer for you to have a better day tomorrow," I say hoping I am giving her the right message.
"Thanks Mommy," she says after a few minutes of silence. "I love you."
As parents, we rarely ever get feedback on whether or not we handled a situation correctly. Children don't give us attaboys. In fact, we usually only hear about the consequences of our parenting choices when they turn out badly. But on this day I was blessed with an outcome that brought tears to my eyes. Apparently, my daughter's older sister helped her check her e-mail that night while I was at a meeting. When I came home, she rushed up to me and asked me if I read her e-mail. I told her no, but then quickly checked it on my BlackBerry. Below is the unedited version.
Dear mommy today was hard for me. But you made me feel better after what happened at school today. I love you. Love, Me.
Folks, it doesn't get any better than this.
Amanda is the mom of two girls, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including one on motherhood called "Smotherhood." Find her here on Mondays.