“It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.” – Dave Barry
Thursday, April 3rd
I pack my metaphorical tents with me all the time. Blankets in the car in case it gets cold. Purloined face masks from the medical clinic stuffed into the glove compartment in case I come across…a dust storm.
On Thursday, I had a plan to keep my daughter’s school drop-off short and sweet. This would give me time to go to a couple of hardware stores to gather supplies for a work party on Saturday. I would have time to go home and make lunch and then drop off the items when my son and I went to pick my daughter up again at the end of the day. This was reasonable, right? A schedule and a to-do list isn’t over-indulging my need to be prepared and get ‘er done, is it?
My son and I successfully made it through the drop off. We visited two hardware stores. We were getting hungry so we headed home. I was checking email as our snack was warming up when my neighbor came knocking at my door. “Did you get in touch with your husband? Did you hear about your daughter?” Low and behold, the school had called and my husband had left some frantic texts. As I searched through them I overheard my dear neighbor say that she had thrown up. My fever pitch of worry settled into a more subdued level of manic concern. My neighbor told me to take a deep breath and go get her while she watched my son.
And there my girl was, sitting upright on the nurse’s bed all weepy from whatever happened in the lunch room. I had brought her little stuffed monkey and she held onto that while her teacher passed me her backpack. On the way to the car, I asked if I could get a gate opened so I could drop off bags of soil and hardware supplies. I was led back into a noisy lunchroom filled with young teens while my ailing child slumped her head on my shoulder just so we could get the attention of the man with all of the keys. Surely, taking my daughter back into this room knocked my dharma down a couple notches.
The drop off wasn’t as arduous as I’d made it out to be, and I was home in minutes to relieve my neighbor who’d saved the day. I put the kids in bed and set them up with a little snack and a movie. As I got into the groove of being home, I fielded a call for breastfeeding advice from a dear friend who just gave birth the day before. I was about to snap and send a picture to her of a painting my little guy did (that looked suspiciously like breasts) when the screen went blank. A flicker of the screen showed a slowly dying communication device. This here, folks, was life queuing up Friday’s shitstorm. Wait, I have a face mask for that, don’t I?
How do you calm things down when you’ve hit a high level of stress?