Sunday, March 14, 2010

Speeding

They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.   I know that little saying is about the weather, but I hope it also applies to life because this month did not start especially well.  Maybe that's just March?  I can only hope.

This woe is me streak began ten days ago when I had three wisdom teeth removed.  It was gory and I was awake.  My face still throbs ten days later and even though I am taking 800mg of Advil every 4 hours, the pain never fully abates.  I know that's a lot of Advil, by the way.  It's better for me than my little blue friends that Dr. Dentist sent me home with.  I had to trash the good stuff.  I enjoyed them too much, but I don't know how I could have handled the pain of the first few days without them.  Childbirth has nothing on days and days of mouth pain.  Anyway, since the morning of the Mouth Massacre, each day has brought an unexpected and unwelcome incident.  I'll spare you for the most part, and share just one.

On Friday,  I had a meeting in Montpelier.  It was my first meeting with the Vermont Peace Academy, a non-profit looking to re-set its strategy after losing most of its funding.  With fellow students in my mediation program, I am helping the organization use Appreciate Inquiry - a strengths-based strategy development process.  The process is a little "touchy-feely, ya-ya who-who"  for my taste, but it is interesting and it is also graded. The meeting is part of my coursework and my favorite instructor was expecting me at 8AM.

I woke up at 5:00 AM to shower and get dressed professionally.  Make-up, blow dryer - the works.  I wish I could look presentable without so much effort.  Anyway, once fully quaffed and primped, I started packing lunches for the boys and making breakfast as usual.   The kids woke up on schedule and Johnny complained of a sore throat.  Shit.

All week the school nurse had been sending home notices about a strep throat outbreak in Johnny's classroom.  I immediately sent him back to bed and started trying to figure out how he would get to the doctor first thing in the morning even though I would have the kid mobile until 1:00 PM.  I wanted to get his diagnosis confirmed right away and start the antibiotics to get him well by the weekend when we were supposed to have house guests.   That long-awaited visit from two great friends in Boston never happened, by the way, but at the time I was still stubbornly deluding myself.

Pam arrived at 7:00 AM and even though Montpelier is 45 minutes south of our house, we all (me, Pam, and all three kids) piled into the car to drive 10 minutes North to Burlington so that I could get Deano's car from the hospital.  I would drive it to my meeting and Pam would take GJ to school, and then John to the doctor.   Getting to my meeting on time was clearly a physical impossibility but I was holding fast to my delusional state of mind and I was driving like I could beat the clock Superman style.  Remember when he flew so fast he turned the earth backward in its rotation, reversed time, and saved Lois Lane's life?  Mine were delusions of grandeur, I guess.  I would be Super Somebody.  Well, you surely know where this is going.  I titled the post speeding...

You got it.  I was pulled over going 75 in a 55.  It could have been worse, honestly, but this particular state trooper didn't seem to think so.  He approached the car and Johnny greeted him from the backseat with glee, "Hi Mr. Police Man.  You're cool."  I am silently LOVING Johnny at this moment.  The officer asks me if I know why I have been pulled over.  Funny question.  Do you play dumb?  I did.  He told me I had been speeding and asked for my license and registration.  GJ asked me, "Why did you do this, Mommy?"  I am silently CURSING him at this moment.  And then I cried.  Real tears.   I just let loose, sobbing my sob story.  Mr. Policeman didn't seem too sympathetic, but a full 15 minutes later he returned from his car to give me a warning!  Before he sent us on our way he said, "Ma'am, you're going to be late for that meeting no matter what you do.  Please slow down."

Curse him for being so bleepin' right.

Later this night, after a day that did not get better, I was watching a news story about a Mom whose son drowned in the bath tub while she was quickly switching laundry down the hall.  This poor mother was guilty of the same mistake I had made that very morning.  She was multi-tasking.  Rushing.  Her message to parents everywhere was one I'd heard only hours earlier.  "Slow down." 

It's advice I need to give myself on a regular basis.  There's always so much to do and I am guilty of wasting perfectly lovely moments because I'm rushing, or feeling like I should be rushing because this or that thing is still left to do.  I don't want to speed through life or these special years with young children.

As we move into our next phase of life, I AM going to slow down.

1 comment:

  1. I think your great-grandmother had a saying in her kitchen ... the hurrier I go, the behinder I get. wise woman.

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