I laughed Sunday night at how my day utterly unraveled despite my going into the weekend thinking it would be “low key.”
Does that happen to you moms?
Normally, weekends are a bustle with birthday parties, sporting activities, church, and whatever else gets squeezed in. When we head to the farm or the ranch, I KNOW it will be low key. But every once and a while, we get a “low key” city weekend.
Low key is getting harder and harder to find.
(Yes, I’m going to reread Shauna Neiquist’s book, Present over Perfect, and try to do better.)
But this weekend promised to be LOW KEY!
Because of that, and because I’ve had very little time one-on-one with the boys, I planned something with each one. Friday night, I took the baby to look at birds because he wanted a parakeet for his birthday. I will not bore you with how Friday night utterly unraveled. (And yes, every back-to-school I read Jen Hatmaker’s post and try to do nothing on Friday evenings because the kids unravel, but, well, I goofed.)
Then Saturday morning I took the eldest to our favorite rescue to look at dogs who might need a foster this week. Recently, we started fostering through this rescue. It gives us time to test if the kids really are responsible enough to get a dog AND we get to help some sweet pups. My little man proceeded to love on at least a dozen mutts. He was in bliss. He asked if he could come every Saturday and Sunday. Maybe when you can drive buddy, maybe when you can drive.
We headed home, met up with the other three members of our crew, and had a light lunch. So far, so good. LOW KEY. The boys are playing flag football so we went to their game. Then came home and watched LSU pull out a one point victory with two seconds left (Geaux Tigers). Afterwards, we wandered over to a friend’s house to meet the dog they were dog sitting.
We were all in bed before 9.
Perfect. And, dare I say, low key!
Then Sunday happened.
The day of rest.
This is what happened. It’s probably happened to you too if you (a) are alive, and (b) breathing.
First, I’d forgotten my partner in crime would be at the ranch with little bit Saturday night and Sunday. So I was down one adult. Second, I’d forgotten that Sunday night was a women’s event at my church I’d committed to with friends a few weeks ago. Which meant I’d need someone to watch the boys. (Thank the heavens above my mom lives in town.) Third, time moved fast. And fourth, I had to be on a compliance training call with China at 8 pm that evening (because, you know, Monday morning in China…).
No problem, I was going to have a low key day if it killed me. (I crack myself up. I should be medicated.)
Sunday morning, we got up and went to church.
We skipped Sunday School so I could stock up on groceries for the week and the boys were very helpful. By the time we wrapped up shopping, I offered to take them to the restaurant of their choosing for lunch. We had a delicious and relaxing meal at a nearby Mexican restaurant.
Then, I got home, and looked at a clock. Now you see, I’m a lawyer by trade. I spent the first 14 ½ years of my 20 year career billing my time in increments of SIX MINUTES. I am ALWAYS looking at a clock. But in my determination to “low key” the day, I’d mellowed by typical clock-watching, control-freaky self. Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I realize if you’re 30 or younger you don’t get that reference.)
So then we were in a hurry. I’m not my best self in a hurry because I am obsessively on time for things. And by obsessively on time, I mean early.
There was no time for me to change. The boys changed because it took them 10 seconds. I had a lot of things that needed to happen between 1 pm (current time) and 5 pm: drop boys at bday party, return shoes to DSW before credit card cycle turned, buy a birthday present, go pick up a foster dog, pick up boys from bday party, get foster dog acclimated to our home, get dinner cooked, get compliance materials loaded on computer for training in China, meet friends for women’s event at church.
It all sort of happened. Most of it.
I panicked about leaving the boys once we were at the birthday party because it was one of those big places where I imagine not good things happening to my kids if left unsupervised. These 9 year old birthday parties though I’m learning to let go (a little).
I did get the errands run and still get to the rescue before 3:30 to get our sweet foster dog, Zara. If you’re in Houston, this dog would be awesome for a family.
Then things started going at warp speed. I’d already texted my friends and said there was no way I could meet before the event at 5, but we could meet at 5:30 to visit a bit before it started at church. Luckily, my dear friend was in the exact same boat as me. (Day of rest, sigh…)
I opted to throw together my spinach and chicken stuffed shells with marinara. Why oh why do meals take so much longer than I think they will??? So my mom miraculously arrives to watch the boys, and casually mentions, Um, don’t you need to leave soon? At this point, I haven’t freshened up since getting ready for church that morning, and I’ve not pulled together my materials for training in China.
I gave her what I’m sure was my 10 year old version of puppy dog eyes, ask if she can stuff the shells since the filling has now been made, and rush off to the office to pull together everything for work. Then I race to the bathroom, powder my nose and brush my teeth, and dash off to church. I arrive after 5:30, but not TOO long after, and my other friend was running behind.
Melanie Shankle had come to speak and she was AWESOME, but I had to leave no later than 7:48 (6 minutes increments people, six minutes) to get back in front of my computer and on the Skype meeting by 8 pm. My friend and I had selected right side seats so I could sneak out. But in “slipping out quietly,” I knocked over a picture by my friend’s chair with a nice big BANG so that all 200+ women could turn to watch my little pink-pantsed hiney shimmy out the door.
Never fear, I race into the house with five minutes to spare (my church is in my neighborhood), and there’s the whole happy family returned. I beg and plead for the kids and the foster dog to keep it down for the lovely people in China, and hop on the computer. After what I hope was a moderately coherent presentation, I still had time to kiss my little people, tuck them in, and pour myself a glass of wine.
What’s your low key look like, friends?