It was a day. Malaise hung thick in the air affecting children and school work and chores. I hauled the stragglers back to their tasks and felt the weight of responsibility heavy on my shoulders. At eleven I asked John to start getting ready for a doctors appointment. At twelve he was good to go. At twelve-thirty I asked the children to begin getting in the car. By one, all were assembled. Steam gathered between my ears and Charlie cried because he couldn't get his shoes on.
I started to wind up for a good tantrum on the highway but refrained. "Guys! We are at the crossroads and and we need to choose the good way. Let's take turns praying that we would choose peace." We did while Charlie cried louder. "John! Help him with his shoes!" Peace eluded.
Smack! A stone flew out from under the tread of a tractor trailer and hit the windshield. A round hole remains to tell the tale. Charlie cried, "I need a pillow! My stomach hurts! I want to lie down!" It will be a while before he can face a doctor without anxiety.
John hacked and coughed and Claire tripped over the curb and fell flat on her stomach on the doctor's lawn. Charlie passed his doctor's exam and John flunked. Onto Wal-Mart for John's prescription where the children closed ranks round the cart. I thought hard on patience and was mostly successful until the entertainment department. "I cannot take a step in any direction! Will one of you please move!," I cried in a voice loud enough that several gentlemen backed away from the row of televisions. None of the children stirred. A prescription and a bathroom break later, I was back in the freezing wind, tripping over children, lifting two-ton Charlie out of the cart and into his car seat.
And now we ride home in relative calm and I take stock. This is not a Woe-is-Me day. This is a day to celebrate, to delight in. A day where dross rises to the top. A day common to man. A day to persevere. Not much crossed off on my list of things to do but God is probably checking off a thing or two on His. Bring it on!