I was supposed to spend the day in the office yesterday and go to lunch with my dear friend, S. It was going to be an easy day. Famous last words. I woke up and realized I forgot to make sugar cookies for Little Monk’s Thanksgiving Day Kindergarten Feast. I raced to get everyone ready and out the door (thank you St. Joe’s for taking my boys early so I could – eeek – head to the supermarket and grab some cookies) I am a working mom but I was also a stay at home mom. I try to juggle both “looks”. This means that while I work 8:30AM – 5PM Monday – Friday, I try to bake cookies from
a pre-made mix scratch, still keep up with the laundry twice a week while submitting detailed spreadsheets with horrific, ripple effect deadlines. I don’t always get it right, hence the perfectly coordinated earth tone outfit for my lunch with S, and my grey socks with kittens clawing at balls of yarn. I was in a rush! Thanksgiving Day feasts wait for no woman!
I raced and picked up the sugar cookies, checked that there weren’t nuts in them, and stumbled through the self-checkout line. There was NO way that I would use my debit card for $2.75. I try to give off the impression that I am totally organized because I am an Executive Assistant after all, but my personal life? Not so organized. I’m being watched by the expert (supermarket cashier) as I struggle to take every receipt, customer loyalty card and Pokemon sticker out of my wallet to reach the change that was in the coin purse along with everything else. Of course, every coin, every paper and every sticker drops like confetti on to the floor. When stuff like this happens, I smile, sweat and swear (to myself). I managed to get the change up from the floor (one quarter, 5 dimes and about 80 pennies) and insert them into the machine that looks like HAL from Space Odyssey. SCORE! Exact change. That never happens. I grab my receipt, my wallet and my purse and start to run to the doors. “Excuse me, excuse me Miss?” Yep. I was about to walk out without the cookies. *sigh*
I make it to the car with the nut-free cookies and everything else, take a selfie to send to my husband so he sees (and has proof) that I’ve got it all under control. He commutes to NYC a few times a week for work – – that’s a 3 hour commute each way – – yeah. We really lean on each other and cheer each other on during the week. For the most part, these are texts like “I’m struggling to the finish line” or “We’re almost there babe” or “CRAP, I have the car seats”
It’s at this point in my morning that I realize I need some prayer. I begin the Divine Office App morning prayer audio and get some semblance of peace in my mobile chapel. I get to the main office of the school and see the principal who finishes a sentence “…and some peace”. Clearly we’re having the same kind of morning. She asks if I can bring the cookies to the classroom because it’s been a hectic morning. NO PROBLEM. (YES PROBLEM). I’m in heels, the floors are slippery and Little Monk’s classroom is on the other side of the school. Of course, I can’t just walk because I have to get to the office! I’m sure you can imagine what a 4’11” (yes, you read that right) woman with a bag of nut-free cookies, in heels sliding and wobbling over a freshly waxed floor would look like. Kids walking in the other direction with their teachers see me and give me the “no running in the hallway, tsk, tsk, tsk, I’m going to be a hall monitor when I grow up” look. I know, I know. I get to his room. The lights are off. No one’s there and I have no idea where Little Monk’s desk is, where a marker is to put his name on the bag or what to do. I find his name and an orange square with scissor cuts on the desk. He’s really into scissor cuts around a page. He says it makes the paper look feathery. I leave the bag and play slip and slide back down the hall and outside to my car. Deep breaths people.
I get to the office and take the elevator upstairs. I usually walk up the stairs. I thought I’d give myself a treat. Remember those heels? Wedged, right in the crack of the elevator floor. Seriously? Seriously. I yank my foot out, scrape the faux wood grain look of my heel (what? you don’t have a pair like that?) and get to my desk all disheveled and red-faced. When I’m running around, I
sweat glisten, and when I glisten, my face gets red. Ahhhhh, I’m going to sit, settle in, check email, drink some peppermint tea and maybe I’ll get some filing done. Won’t that be nice? I log in and open up my first email with one click as I sip peppermint tea with the other hand. What’s this? A call from the school. “Hi, this is the school nurse. I just saw you in the main office this morning. How are you? Little Monk just threw up, can you come get him?” WHAT?!?!? “Sure, I’m on my way”. I make a call to the pediatrician as I pack up and they can see him at 10AM. It’s 9:30AM I can get there, and get him to the doctor no problem.
Yes friends, it’s only 9:30AM at this point.
I grab my stuff, dump the tea, take the stairs this time – I don’t need another treat – and head *back* to the school. Poor thing. He was so embarrassed. He said he didn’t want any one to have to clean up so he made sure he ran to the bathroom and went right in the toilet. I hugged him so tight and thought how lucky I was to be so close to get him. When I worked in NYC, the quickest I could have gotten to him would be at least an hour and fifteen minutes. He’s just got a sinus infection and lots of congestion so he needs fluids, rest and TLC. Before I left the school, I happened to see S there and told her that I couldn’t have lunch with her today. Her girls were sick too.
S called me later on to check on Little Monk and said she’d come over and watch him while I went to pick up my other son, Lexicon from school. This way, Little Monk could stay nice and warm. S came early and promised to look at my knitting (which I recently started up again). I just finished a scarf for Little Monk – which he says is SUPER itchy, thanks – and am working on one for Lexicon. Problem is, I keep making mistakes and having to rip it all out. I can’t seem to focus or remember what stitch I was just doing to know what I have to do next. She came over and saw this:
Apparently, for YEARS, I’ve been knitting incorrectly. What? Yes. I’ve been making knitting harder on myself because I’m knitting into the back of the stitch, every time. Story of my life. Why do I make everything difficult? I taught myself to knit from a book when I was pregnant with Lexicon who just turned NINE. Nine years of wrong knitting! So, I had a knitting lesson. I felt like both halves of my brain were just swapped. Or much like Teresa Tomeo says on her radio show “Wrong is right, right is wrong, it’s all topsy-turvy”. (shameless link insert for my book giveaway – ends 11/27)
True to my style of learning, I had to take notes to remember what to do when S had to leave. Remember, I am an Executive Assistant. I organize people’s lives. I manage their calendars! I keep them on task! I am the right hand! Keep that in mind as you take a look. Here is where I have my notes:
A couple of things…that’s not the correct spelling. It should read purl. Why don’t I write this down in a book? Why is my yarn that Tiffany sent me last week still in it’s box? In the entire lesson, that’s all I wrote? How could I let S take this picture? Proof that I am what one co-worker who knows me, calls “A hot mess”? Let me tell you, S and I cracked up yesterday. It was great. In fact, we got to spend more time together in that impromptu visit than we would have at lunch. The best part, heels were not involved. Just my crazy cat socks, laughter and knitting. I realized that I was a diseased knitter all these years and she is now and forever, the Knit Whisperer. She’s been knitting since she was in her mothers womb (good scripture joke, I think). She took some video to send to Tiff and that is hilarious. But it’s only for Tiff. Sorry peeps.
I think S kind of loves her new name. Why? She sent me this doodle via text last night…get it? She’s whispering my pattern to me.
So now, I have to go slow and start over. I find that knitting is a great metaphor for life. You need to rip out the bad stuff, start over and go slow. Maybe one day you find out that you weren’t doing things right. So what?! So what if you’re a hot mess?! You have to make sure you have laughter and crazy cat socks on the journey. Be close to your friends and family (especially) in a pinch. And definitely, definitely don’t make plans. Just roll with it. Or purl with it. Whatever works. Or as my friend Sassy T says, “Stick with it kid! It’s just 2 sticks and some string!”
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!