Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tonight's Lesson--Unpleasant, but Useful

I'm a person who thrives on organization. I write weekly to-do lists, savoring the feeling of accomplishment I get from checking off completed items. I frequently rearrange things in the house (much to my family's consternation), to maximize storage space and efficiency. I generally follow a schedule, which I stick to because doing so allows my life run more smoothly, therefore making me feel comfortable and secure. But occasionally, something happens that throws my well-planned agenda into a tailspin. Tonight, it was vomit. Not mine, thank goodness--but just as I was gearing up to tackle the evening portion of my chores, my 8 year-old produced a somewhat spectacular reprise of his dinner all over his bedroom carpet (I'll spare you the details of what we ate, but it was all there...in technicolor). The bedtime-preparation activities already in progress came to a screaming halt, and all family members leaped immediately into "Acute Sickness Mode". We automatically focused on what was most critical: taking care of D. (Okay, and cleaning up the disaster. Thanks, Husband!) All the other "stuff" I had thought so important, could wait until after the much-more-necessary Mommy Work: hugs, and drinks of water, and a nice long Harry Potter read-aloud, and tucking into bed (with a trashcan nearby). So when I catch myself stressing over my seemingly neverending tasks, and pushing my family further down the list of things to attend to, I'll remember what my real job is, and give them more of my time and attention. I've learned my lesson; there will be no need for more vomit!

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