A Happy Ending to a Horrible Day
I knew going into this morning I had an impossible amount to do - so I decided to go the park with some friends for a few hours. (Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?) Our kids happily played in a little stream and we moms sat nearby in the shade enjoying each other's company and our kids' playful sounds. It was so relaxing that I stayed much longer than I should have, but finally my mental check-list won out and we packed up and prepared to leave. Hmmm, where are my keys? 20 minutes later, still no keys and a growing pit in my stomach. Oh hallelujah, after I lost my keys last time I made extra copies and I have a spare in my purse!!! I'm so happy, I'll just grab my purse and we'll be on our way....uh huh, purse is locked in car. It's good I'm so compulsive about locking my car doors and heaven forbid I leave one little window down a crack!!!! I borrowed friend's cell phone, "Hi honey, where are you? Oh, twenty-five minutes away from where I'm at and about to walk into one of your most important meetings of your career that should last about an hour and a half? Okey-dokey, good luck."
Well, to make a really long and uninteresting story short and uninteresting, my friend drove me the 25 minutes to hubby's car where he left his copy of key to minivan, then friend (I should mention that this is the same friend who I was with the last time I lost my keys about 6 months ago) drove me all the way back to the park where I again fruitlessly searched for my keys and finally gave up and got into the car.
By the time we got into our hot minivan and my very unhappy children were buckled into their seats, 2 yr. old was SCREAMING. He was way beyond his usual nap-time and we were all going to pay for a very long time, so I thought. I was beyond frazzled - hot, humiliated, exhausted and stressed. (I had pack meeting at my very messy house in a few hours and two of my husband's friends coming to stay with us). I began driving home lost in my anxiety when I became vaguely aware that the screaming had stopped. I glanced in the rear-view mirror to see 7 yr. old stroking 2 yr. old's hand and softly singing "I am a Child of God". He was fast asleep. 7yr. old saw me looking and grinned proudly at her accomplishment. She then turned her 4yr. old sister and began to sing her to sleep as she softly caressed her hair. Soon she too was sleeping soundly and I had a greatly needed respite -- not just from the noise, from my very bad mood. I was shocked how quickly her small act of service completely altered my perspective and how quickly my feelings of total frustration and impatience turned to gratitude and peace. Those sleeping children were beautiful and sweet, and the one who was awake radiated joy and pride. I motioned to her my appreciation and we drove home in rare and precious silence.