The last two weeks have been a little rough. From strep throat to my husband being on two business trips … it’s a bit of a challenging season so far. Yet I’d say none could compare to my morning three days ago.
So, where I live, it is absolutely imperative that we leave exactly on time. The road I take to work is beastly, and a matter of minutes can make all the difference. Three minutes past the best time to leave for our morning commute, my daughter was still perched on the floor with no coat and shoe laces undone. Another minute later, and my son shouts that he needs to go poo.
“Why didn’t you go before? ” I ask flabbergasted.
“I didn’t have to obviously,” he casually replied.
Trudging agonizingly slowly up the now traffic-filled road, we made our way in a series of halting brake lights and exasperated sighs. When we finally pulled into the school parking lot, my daughter said, “Mom! You’re bleeding!”
“What? Where?” I asked.
“There,” she pointed.
Sure enough. I had a giant splotch blooming through my favorite cream colored (go figure) dress pants. “Shoot!” I exclaimed, parking and immediately hiking up my pant leg to keep the scrape on my knee from making more of a mess than it already had! Did I mention I had heels on? That might present itself with its own set of challenges on any given day, but that day, with pants hiked up and it being about twenty-degrees outside, it was even more so of a bad choice of footwear. On top of it all, it was band day … and on band day, my son and his dumb drum plod and clump up the stairs nearly tipping backwards. So, already walking like a half-dead zombie from the Thriller video, bent in half holding my own bags and now dragging a drum, we made our way to the office.
Immediately, I scavenged the last baby wipe I grabbed from my car, (they’re magic, never leave home without them) and I set to scrubbing my pants vigorously as the sweet secretary started looking up home remedies to getting blood out of pants. As she was doing this, there were about four more people who came into the office, one of which was one of my student’s parents. It was not my most professional moment, I might add, sitting on the ground with my pants up scrubbing like I had some sort of accident.
“You can use cola,” the secretary said.
“Um … probably will make my pants look worse don’t you think?” I replied.
“Club soda?” she tried.
“Man, didn’t pack that in my lunch today,” I said, trying my best to still be grateful for the suggestions.
“Salt water,” she shouted out.
“I can get you that,” the chemistry teacher said, waltzing into the conversation.
And about three minutes later, there he was with a little vial of salt water. I’d hobbled up to my classroom by then, and scrubbed as fast and as hard as I could, arriving, miraculously, with nothing worse for the wear than wet pants and a funny laugh to share at my morning meeting.
Audrey Hepburn once said, “Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: the first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.”
That night, I should have been working on the laundry that’s taking over every room in my house. I should have been writing Christmas cards or picking up the endless trail of toys that litter our floor like autumn leaves scattered about by a strong wind. I should have been sweeping the pet hair, doing the dishes, or organizing the endless projects I begin and never finish. But I didn’t. Instead, I took Aubrey’s advice and helped myself up, by curling up to a classic movie of hers, and laughing myself to sleep.
Sometimes that’s all it takes to get me back on track. A bit of smiles and not taking myself too seriously. So I embarrassed myself again … nothing new there. I assume it’ll only happen another thousand or so times in this life of mine.
Here’s looking forward to telling you about the next one,