I rolled out of bed and plopped myself down on the toilet for my morning pee. And that’s when I learned I had started my period. That should have been a sign to me about how my morning was going to go, but I was determined to remain positive. Reaching down to the cabinet I pulled out the very last pad. See! I was off to a great start!
Sleep waddling into the living room, I made my way to the tea pot. I usually start the day off right—with coffee. My husband gets up a little before me with our daughter and starts the pot. But this morning I heard him groan in despair from the other room.
We were out of coffee.
It was okay though. His groan warned me. I was prepared. I also like tea and there is caffeine in it. So a good morning I shall still have!
While it started to boil I settled in my morning spot on the couch. I could sort of see— through my sleep heavy eyes—my husband eating his cereal. Our daughter was dancing around to music. The cogs in my brain stretched and began to spin. So, I started to ask the important questions, starting with, “What day is it?”
It took some time but the answer came. Monday! Its Monday!
I am always so proud when I can remember without checking my phone. My to do list came down the assembly line in my brain. Food. We need food. And more pads. Grocery shopping—definitely happening. Paint more of the fence—since we bought our house there is always something to paint. Pick up house. Fun? Something fun? Go to the park?
Wait! Its Monday! That means tomorrow is Tuesday! My eyes shot open.
“Are we going camping TOMORROW!” I asked my husband.
“Yeah, I suppose.”
Camping! Tomorrow! I had done nothing, NOTHING, to prepare. And it was supposed to be our first trip as, you know, the parents on the family camping trip. Not the kids. And I was sure there is all sorts of stuff parents know about camping that I don’t because I was always the kid. Pancakes just magically appeared in the morning. I didn’t question how! But now…now I question. How! How did they do that?! Can you cook pancakes over a fire?
Somewhere in my panic I poured myself a cup of hot water and put a tea bag in it. Then I raced over to grab my cell phone. Surely Pinterest would know the things parents know about camping trips. Unfortunately however, even though I had put my phone to charge all night, when I got to it the screen was lifeless and black. Noooooo! This meant my charger was officially broken.
I mean, I guess I should have seen that coming. It was barely holding together by a few small wires. I switched to charge on my husbands charger. His was also dying, but had a few more connecting wires than mine. Fingers crossed.
I whipped out my laptop and plopped down on my bed. No worries. I could make a list here and send it to myself on Messenger. Then I could take it to the store with me.
Okay. Pinterest. Man I love that site. I found exactly what I was looking for in minutes. Even with my husband getting dressed next to me and my daughter jumping on the bed. I had a two page long list broken down into categories (mostly) and ready to send to my phone. I even watched a video about how to make coffee over the fire. It was going to be awesome.
“I’ve got to go. See you tonight.” My husband kissed us both goodbye and went to work.
I looked brightly at my daughter, “We are going to the store!”
“Yay!” She squealed.
Just as brightly, “Go put your shoes on.”
She didn’t move. But I didn’t notice because I checked my phone and it was still completely dead. What was I going to do! I had this great list but no way to get it to the store. There was no way I was going to remember everything on my own.
Suddenly a memory from my childhood flashed in my mind. It was my mom’s shopping list. She took it every time we went shopping. It was written down on paper. Wow. Just, wow. It had come to this. Actually, physically writing the list down. The word “archaic” came to mind for some reason. Did we even have any paper? Luckily, I found some and a pen on my husbands desk—because he’s old fashioned—then I came back to my shoe-less daughter in the bedroom.
With a less bright tone but still holding on to it, “Preciosa, Go get your shoes on.”
She ran excitedly out of the room.
I began to transcribe my list. And wouldn’t you know it, my computer gave me a low battery warning. I reached for where I keep my charger and it wasn’t there.
Nooooo! I wrote as fast as I could but there wasn’t enough time. I only made it half way before another dead battery stood between me and my list. Paper and pen was starting to look pretty smart right about then.
My daughter skipped back into the room, holding her boots above her head like a trophy and grinning from ear to ear, “I find them!”
“Good job! Now put them on.”
She looked a little confused. She did just turn two. And we usually put her shoes on for her, but she could put those boots on by herself. She does it all the time. So, I began my frantic search throughout the house for the elusive laptop charger.
I eventually found it. Not where I left it, though. Why? Why is it never where I left it? Anyways, my computer took a while to start. But it wasn’t a dull wait. I got to watch as my little proud and confident two year old melted into an overwhelmed puddle of tears.
She had managed to get her boots on. But they were on the wrong feet.
“Not working!” she yelled at me.
Getting a little more weary now, but since she had made progress, still gently, “That’s cause they are on the wrong feet. You have to take them off and put them on again.”
Her little eyes worked through my words and found the solution to her problem. She struggled to kick her boots off while standing up without falling over.
She looked up at me on the verge of tears, “I can’t!”
“Yes, you can,” I nudged her on, “Just sit down and pull them off with your hands.”
There was more two year old brain thinking about big mama words, and then she sat down to take her boots off.
The computer was on now so I finished transcribing my list.
She had all but given into her tears now. She had managed to get her boots off, but getting them back on again was suddenly impossible. I wrestled my closet and laundry basket for some sort of clothing to put on my body that wasn’t pajamas, “Yes. You can.”
“I can’t.” she screamed back.
With a firm and irritated voice I answered with what I also hoped was confidence, “Yes. You. Can.”
I pulled on a long sleeve shirt and jeans. The forecast called for temperatures in the mid 80’s. But it was clean. I rushed into the living room to find my purse. What else did I need? My cell phone? No. It was dead. At least I had coffee this morning, right?
Just then I saw my cup of forgotten tea sitting on the kitchen counter. My heart sank.
Not coffee. Just tea. And I didn’t even drink it. It was probably cold now. I poured some creamer in it and with my last shred of hope, I took a sip. It was not worth drinking. Nowhere near the relaxing and uplifting cup it was intended to be.
Pounding toddler feet stomped into the kitchen behind me carrying screams and a full on bawling little girl overwhelmed by boots. “I can’t! I can’t! I can’t!”
“Okay!” I relented, even though I knew she could, “Bring me your boots and I will help you.”
She scampered off to get them and then sat down right in my lap and held up her foot. I held the boot up, but didn’t push it onto her foot. She hesitated and then slipped her foot in. We did the same with the other. Compromise?
We managed to get out the front door without too much more delay. Our street was closed for construction so we had to walk a ways to our car but we made it.
As we drove I wondered what had happened. I so wanted to have a good morning. And here I was, irritated and unreasonably overwhelmed.
We pulled into a pretty good parking spot because the lot was delightfully empty. A good sign for the lines inside. I realized we had made the whole trip without hitting a single stop light. Which is saying something, because the rout I took had quiet a few.
“See, this morning can still turn around!” I thought to myself. And I set to work convincing the buttons on my daughters car seat that yes, I did in fact want to take her out now and they should let me do so. We made it to the sidewalk without running into traffic and were walking towards the front of the store when it hit me.
I didn’t have any money.
I had gotten one of those wallet cell phone cases last summer, so all of my cards were with my dead cell phone. At home.
“Nooooo!” I yelled out loud to the empty parking lot.
I couldn’t believe it. I was going to have to go through it all again. I looked at my watch. 9:30am. All this and it was only 9:30.
My daughter kicked and screamed as I loaded her back into her car seat. She loves shopping. She didn’t want to have to drive home and get my wallet either. But we did.
Then, with my wallet now correctly stowed in the cup holder next to me I came to the turn that would lead me back to the big, overwhelming grocery shopping trip. But then I just drove past it. Heading in the opposite direction.
What am I doing? I looked ahead and I saw a clear route to my favorite Latte Stand. By now my stomach was growling. Yes, it was time for coffee. I was planning to just drink it while we shopped. But once it was in my hand I remembered that the last time I did that, despite my best efforts, it had ended up all over the checkout floor.
My daughter’s favorite park was right in front of me. The sun was shinning warm through the green leaves. No children were there yet and it looked so peaceful. It should have been an obvious choice, but I hesitated and swerved into the parking lot at the last minute.
Under the glow of those lovely green leaves I drank my coffee. At last. A cool summer’s breeze washed over me and made my little girl’s curls bounce. She stretched her arms, legs and toddler brain on wood beams laid out by wise mothers before me who were great-grandmothers now. All her frustration, and mine, washed away. We reset the day.
After that, the shopping trip went quiet smoothly. Not only did I find everything we needed for our camping trip, I got a bag of coffee for the next morning and not just one, but two new cell phone chargers. When we got home I put my little girl down for a nap and told my husband the whole story.
“Did you cry!” He asked when I got to the part about forgetting my wallet, “I would have cried.”
I laughed. Yeah, It was all pretty funny now.
“The moral of the story,” I explained with a chuckle, “Is that coffee is life.”
His next words changed my entire outlook on the whole morning.
“I think God was talking to you, saying: Rest. Enjoy.”
His words hit my soul like delicious hot chocolate.
Or that. Yeah. That could be the moral too.
About the Author
“I’m a full time missionary turned full time mama. It’s a hard transition to go from saving the world to being the world to one little person. I’m in the process of letting God retrain my brain to see how being a mother is hands down the most powerful work I will do in my life. I call the process #LearningtoMommy
Just about any day, if there is a peaceful moment, you can find me with a cup of coffee in my hand talkin’ about Jesus with a friend. Otherwise it’s keepin’ up on dishes, moving into our new house, and going on adventures with my hubby and our two year old daughter.”
You can find her on her blog
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