My CMD (Calendar Mismanagement Disorder) has been flaring up this week. Plagued by this relentless disease (disability, disorder… whatever), it’s amazing I get anything done.
Monday was Teen Take-Out’s orthodontist appointment. When I’ve said before that I’m surprised they haven’t kicked us out of the practice, I’m sadly not kidding. We have two tinsel-teeth kids, with three in the wings, and I can’t seem to remember either of their appointments. The office staff is so nice and patient. But I’m fairly certain our chart has a big fat red “L” on it – the scarlet letter for “Loser”. I’m hoping our frequent flier status will keep us around
Case in point, the kids’ last appoint just might have been in July. I haven’t called to reschedule because I keep forgetting …only remembering to call right when the office has closed for the day. (Pathetic, I know.) … A few weeks ago, my friend Kay (whose son is in TTO’s class) suggested we should schedule the boys’ appointments at the same early morning time and carpool them to school. “Oh, such a great idea”, I replied, knowing I could never be organized enough to actually coordinate with someone else.
Well, she was. Not only did she make TTO’s appointment for me, she gave me a reminder phone call and followed through. Unbelievable! After the appointment, I received this email:
Hi Kay –
Jon and I were both running a tad late this morning and pulled into the parking lot at the same time, so it worked out well. I took the liberty (hope you don’t mind) of making TTO’s next appointment – it will be Wednesday, 20 Oct at 7:45am – the same time as our appointment. TTO has the appointment slip to give to you. We can either do the same thing as this time (Jon drops TTO off) or I could swing by and pick TTO up. We can decide when the appointment gets closer.
Hope you are doing well. Thanks so much for dinner on Saturday night – we had a great time.
I think I’ve reached a new low that an acquaintance is handling my calendar.
As I drove in the carpool line to pick up the first batch of kids, I noticed several students wearing or carrying little costumes. The sinking feeling began. By the time I reached our cone and saw Sister Save-A-Lot’s sad/angry face pitifully looking at me with the “Where were you?!” look, I realized I had (once again) forgotten to be at one of her in-class presentations. Not only had I calendared it, but I had also reminder-ed myself. Hard to believe.
She got in the car.
“Honey… Oh… I’m SO sorry.” Pause. Silence. “Was I the only parent not there?”
“I really messed up.” Pause. “Can you forgive me? … Am I the worst mother?”
She looks at me. “You’re a great mother. — You just need to work on your forgetting.”
She shot a cute little sheepish, winsome smile and I knew all was okay.
Such is life in a big family. When I was about her age, the produce manager a the Piggly Wiggly had to call my mother. Between the time she & I had finished loading the groceries in the car and I rolled the cart back to the front of the store, she had forgotten I was with her. I watched my mom drive away in disbelief, sort of. Then went to our friend by the bananas and asked if he could call home for me. She came back. I forgave her. We all still laugh about it.
Little curve balls reveal our parenting imperfections. They assist in teaching lessons about flexibility. Lessons about perseverance and problem solving. You can either let those things define you or grow you.
Sister Save-A-Lot and Teen Take-Out both got a chance to see my true colors waving in the wind this week. The biggest lesson is one about infallibility – a characteristic 100% out of my realm, but the essence of the One in whom we have faith. I’m so grateful to be able to share that, unlike me, He will never leave them at the grocery store, forget their reports or need someone else to manage His calendar. No…. He alone is sufficient.
As I was driving today, I glanced in my side mirror and smiled at what I saw.
Jack. Cooling his french fry out the window.
I had to laugh and enjoy his 3 year old ingenuity, and ache a bit for the day I will inevitably fail him. Then I hope that the kid will rest for a lifetime in the One who never will.