With all the busy-ness we've had going on this fall, I've tried really hard not to make compromises when it comes to my kids. I've had to volunteer a little less often for school functions, or rely on other people to give them rides to things here and there, but for the most part, we've done pretty well there.
Of course, that means that I'm exhausted.
It's a lot of work to be all things to all people, you know.
I was thinking about my schedule today and the idea of water displacement came to me. It's like my life is a glass of water and it's f-u-l-l. Filled to the brim with things to do and places to go.
Then, just for fun (or if you get rear-ended and have to go to physical therapy. ahem.), you drop something else into your glass of life. What happens? It displaces an amount of busy-ness equal to its own weight. And if your glass is already full, that displaced life just spills over the side.
Just go with me on that one, okay?
So, we have managed to keep most of our, uh, life in the glass, as it were, but as this fall semester begins to come to its end, the level of activity just increases. That's pretty much true for everybody, I think. And it's at this point that I have to start making compromises that make me uncomfortable.
My photography class is a Thursday class and Andrew's holiday band concert is next Thursday. My professor actually (very graciously) agreed to let me take my final exam on another day so I could make it to the concert.
However, Andrew was in the city Christmas parade tonight. Obviously, I can't skip the last two weeks of class entirely. Obviously, my professor was generous enough about my final exam that I didn't want to ask for more.
Obviously, I would have to miss the parade.
I missed it last year too, which made this decision all the worse.
I have been pretty torn up about it.
But guess what? I got out of class early tonight.
I thought, "Hey. Why not try to make it down there and see Andrew? Why not have my cake and eat it too?" It was about an hour into the parade, but I remembered where the end of the route was and figured there was a chance. I called my mom to find out where everybody was standing and she and Dad were already leaving the parade, having seen Andrew. As a matter of fact, they were parked near the end of the route and were happy to wait for me to get there so that I could take over their parking space.
By the time I pulled in, I knew I didn't have much time to spare. I went running down the sidewalk to get to the parade. I heard high school bands and loud music and I was really afraid I'd miss him - I happened to know he was near the front of the parade.
What was that?
Oh yeah. I did say that I ran.
For several blocks.
In high-heeled boots.
Carrying a giant purse.
I really hate running.
But I made it.
I even found a near-front-row spot in which to stand.
I made it before the front of the parade even got there.
I was surrounded by, I kid you not, children with no shoes on (in the downtown streets, people!) and people burping loudly and all manner of unpleasant humanity.
Actual snippet of conversation I overheard behind me (between two good ol' boys who thought they were very funny):
Larry the Cable Guy 1*: Y'all don't wanna mess with me. I know jitso (I presume he meant Jujitsu) and karate and all them other Japanese words.
Larry the Cable Guy 2: Yeah? Well I know Smith 'n Wesson
Larry the Cable Guy 1: Aright then! You win!
And just about the time I was going to turn around and tell Guy #1 where I thought he should shove his rude mouth, I saw Andrew's float coming down the street.
Something came over me.
I bounced up and down, waved my arms and hollered like a high school cheerleader - "Wooooo! Andrewwwwww! I made it!!!". His teachers all laughed at me, but he saw me. He smiled. His float passed and I turned to leave.
Within a block's walk, my exhaustion, my insanely hectic day and probably some leftover mother-guilt got the best of me and I just cried.
Nobody cries after the parade.
But I couldn't help it.
I was so relieved.
I made it.
*Names have been changed to protect the ignorant