There are mornings in my life when I start to really question my parenting skills and this morning was high on that list. Last night, one of my girls had handed me an assignment to review and this morning she couldn’t find it. I was sure I had given it back to her and she was sure I hadn’t. Regardless of who was to blame, crisis ensued in the house, compounded only by that fact that the bus was arriving in 10 minutes.
Finally, we could wait no longer. The bus was pulling up so I shoved the girls out the door, upset and frustrated that again we had failed to pack the backpacks the night before so in a neat and organized fashion (like all other families) we were ready for the start of the new week.
As the girls walked to the bus stop I was mostly frustrated at myself for not instilling the disciplines in my girls that would make them structured and organized naturally. As I walked through my house beating myself up emotionally, I looked down and sure enough, there it was….the missing assignment that we were all crazed to find moments earlier.
Maybe I can catch them, I thought! Barefoot and wearing only the t-shirt and sweatpants that I crawled out of bed in, I ran out the door and past my new neighbors that I had yet to meet (first impressions are everything, right?). I threw myself into the car and raced to the bus stop only to see the bus pulling away. Driving back to the house, I formulated “Plan B.”
Knowing that I could not show up at any middle school in America looking like I did, I ran into the house and changed, hoping I’d get a second chance to make a good impression on my new neighbors on the way back out, but alas no.
The next thought that raced through my mind at this point was how to find that beautiful child when I got to school. Entering a middle school with 1800 kids and trying to find the one that is yours is like finding a needle in a haystack. What are the odds either of them remembered their cell phone on their way out the door? I was hoping. And taking a bet on the child I knew was most likely to remember, I sent her a text….”I found your sister’s assignment. Have her meet me at the front of school, ok?” And I waited….
Beep. “K sur wil.” Ahh….a glimmer of hope in my morning!
I beat the bus to school and sat in the parking lot waiting and knowing that even though she might have got the message on the bus, it was a long walk from the bus to the front of the school… and in middle school, there are a lot of distractions.
Finally, she appeared out of a crowd of other pre-teens, but she kept walking. Now I’m questioning whether she even got the message in the first place. I jumped out of my car and called her name…again…and again. And finally she looks my way.
Looking a little surprised to see me, I hold up the missing assignment.
“Thanks, Mom,” a little smile comes over her face. And this is where I’m suppose to count to 100 (or in this case maybe 1000) before I say anything.
I drove the long way home from school where the speed limit is 35 MPH because I knew the open interstate would not do well for the calming my soul needed today. While I know I have many other things on my to do list this morning, I think I’ll take an extended walk with God and get his guidance on how to handle these situations.
After all, I only have 5 more years of mornings to get this right.