August 28, 2013

in my head

I'm sure I'm not alone in this, it must be something most, if not all parents face. At least I hope I'm not the only one. I often find that I have an image in my head on how things will play out. Not big things. I'm bot sitting here imagining my children graduating from Harvard (not that I don't think they could go to Harvard) or our family winning the lottery. Little things. Everyday things. A peaceful dinner where we all use good manners and laugh and joke and smile and where Evelyn actually eats without gagging over every bite of green. A drive to Burlington that doesn't include whines about when will we get there or I'm hungry or I'm bored. I'm easy to please, really, I just want peace and happiness.

But the reality is that most of the time things do not turn out like I imagine them in my head. Sure, sometimes they are better, but often things just seem to go pear shaped. Nothing terrible or cataclysmic, just not very smoothly. Let's take the first day of school. That would be today.

We were ready. I mean, we had the backpacks packed, new clothes laid out, snacks in containers, hair washed, nails clipped, gas in the car, alarm clock set. It should have been easy. It wasn't. Briton woke up so far on the wrong side of the bed that he should have fallen off. Everyone needed to use the bathroom at the same time causing a bottleneck that led to breakfast being late. And then someone (hint, it was the person who woke up grumpy) didn't want pancakes with sprinkles. He wanted a ham sandwich. And the fact that we didn't have ham caused yet another whirlwind of grumps.

Eventually, a little bit on the late side but still with plenty of time to get to school, we piled into the car and headed out, only to find the road closed (who closes a main road into town on the first day of school?) So the long way it was, pulling in two minutes late, where they had to leap out of the car without much of a goodbye. No walking them to their classroom, no hugs, just a "go! go! go!" The only consolation was a blown kiss from Evie and a comment from Briton as we pulled into the parking lot that he would try to have a "less complainy day tomorrow." (thank goodness for that).

No real drama. But just not...right. You know? What can be done? We could get up earlier, go to bed earlier, put the kids to bed in their clothes for the next day? Something would, inevitably, still go awry. That's just the way of the world,  I think sometimes I set myself up for failure by expecting moments like that to be normal when, really, life with kids is never normal. Life period is never normal. So, deep breath. Let it go. Expect the chaos, right?

And as it says in the greatest book of all time, "tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it."

But I think I'll leave early tomorrow. Just in case the gods of road construction are still against me.