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Like Alexander in, “The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” there are times when I think I’d be better off living in Australia.
For example, take last Wednesday. (Please!) In order to get a jumpstart on my to-do list, I set the alarm for 6:40 a.m.
At 5:40, the child who is typically impossible to drag out of bed before noon made a surprise appearance. She nestled her head into my armpit, her knee into my stomach and fell back to sleep.
Ten minutes later, I was being mentally tortured by my list and decided an earlier start wouldn’t be a bad idea.
First, I would tackle the kitchen that had been left in disarray the previous night.
Then I’d take a shower, followed by cleaning the hardwood floors before the “independent flooring inspector” arrived at 9:30. His visit would last about 45 minutes, and then I would pack lunches for my two youngest children who have preschool at 11 a.m.
I stumbled through the house, flipping on lights, and then remembered that hubby had been up most of the night with our teenage daughter who is recuperating from knee surgery.
He was hanging off the sofa, still fully dressed, so I sent him to bed. Daughter began crying and complaining of nausea and a severe burning sensation throughout her body. Later, we found out she was reacting to the pain medication.
In the midst of this, teenage son finished taking out the trash and said he was heading to school early. At the door, he paused and looked back, so I smiled the sweetest early morning smile I could muster.
As his truck pulled out of the driveway, I asked the Lord to keep a hand of protection over my boy.
About three minutes later, as I was trying to coax daughter into eating saltines and Sprite for her nausea, the phone rang.
“Uhh…mom? Yeah. I um, just kind of had an accident.”
I woke hubby from his very brief respite, and then began washing dishes to distract myself from the mounting anxiety. Perhaps, it was force from flowing adrenalin that caused the glass to crush in my hand, neatly slicing into my palm.
Fortunately, I had the blood cleaned up before the preschoolers came downstairs demanding breakfast.
Our oldest, still home for holiday break from college, followed closely behind, demanding a reason for the noise outside.
“That would be the wrecker towing your brother’s truck,” I replied as I used my good hand to dole out Pop-Tarts. Guilt over a non-nutritious breakfast could be saved for another day.
Son walked in, emotionally shaken and physically sore, but generally unharmed.
I hugged him tightly, so thankful that he was safe.
Anger never crossed my mind, seeing as my own parents had been extremely patient during my rash of at-fault accidents.
I really wanted to say no when he asked if we could take him to school. I would have preferred to sit and look at him all day long, hugging him periodically, and cooking all of his favorite foods.
There were a number of accident-related phone calls to make, lunches to pack, and a shower to take, so I called and cancelled the flooring inspector. He showed up anyway.
Forty-five minutes later I was frantically looking for the napkins, cups and snacks that my preschoolers were scheduled to take for their classes.
In a moment of uncharacteristic planning ahead, I had packed them the night before and laid them at the back door.
I went through the entire house twice, and then thought perhaps I’d already carried them to the car.
The search was futile.
On my way back to the house, I spotted the trash waiting to be picked up. Sure enough, there were the snacks sitting alongside the road.
I took a deep breath and remembered how only moments before I had been so utterly grateful for my son.
The kids were only 11 minutes late to preschool, so I consider that a major accomplishment.
I never did get a shower that day and the flooring inspector rejected our warranty claim.
But I suppose everybody has bad days now and then.
Even in Australia.