Here is the happy truth: earlier this week I had a string of great days in a row. (And by great, I mean my non-gospel-informed definition, that is to say the kids were not too demanding and I got lots of stuff done around the house.) I was feeling so confident that I even prayed Friday morning that I’d keep that all-important gospel in mind and would not go into performance mode or become prideful.
(Pro tip: Beware of praying against pride.)
Then the day began.
I went into the bathroom to get some fresh nursing pads, only to discover that the “extra” box I had under the sink was actually empty. So that became an urgent shopping need.
Stephen left to teach his class and I attempted an hour of homeschool, which was almost completely useless because Jem spent the whole time bellowing because I did not let him play with the non-washable dry erase markers (I DID offer him the washable kind, which I thought was generous) or because I did not let him put chapstick on Leah (I DID let him put it on his own lips and face, which I thought was generous).
At 9:20 we cut our losses and put the school books away so that we had time to go to Target before we headed toward Waco, where we were going to have lunch with my college roommate and her kids.
Getting into the car took longer than I had planned. We carried bags, carseats, et. al. down the street to load into my mom’s van, because, oh yeah: my van had been rear-ended on Tuesday and the flapping bumper makes it hazardous to drive more than about 40 mph. (As it turned out, we didn’t drive much faster than that for most of our time on I-35, but I’ll get to that.)
In the course of loading up, Jem bumped his head and Leah woke up from her little cat nap. So I pulled out of the driveway with Leah and Jem crying at the top of their lungs and Abby yelling over the noise for me to please pass her some gum. Not an auspicious start for our little road trip.
We made a quick stop into Target for nursing pads and emerged $50 later with a fresh supply, as well as several other items that I had forgotten I couldn’t live without. Back in the car, and on the road.
All was well until we got just north of Temple and hit some snarly traffic. (It was so fresh that it wasn’t even showing up on Google maps, so I had no way to predict how long we’d be stuck.) We crept along, as I watched the clock tick past Leah’s next feeding time and closer and closer to our 11:30 lunch date.
Finally the traffic cleared up, but we were going to be a few minutes late to Chick Fil A. I pulled up our text conversation so I could call Jessica, which is when I noticed that we had actually agreed to meet at 11:00. Womp, womp.
So we finally made it to lunch, forty minutes late. Jessica and I bought the usual load of chicken nuggets and waffle fries and we took our places at the table with our children, aged 5, 4, 2, 2, 6 months, and 2 months.
Lunch was as crazy as you might imagine. But between settling playspace disputes, mopping up spilled lemonade, nursing babies, escorting stinky boys to the bathroom, and opening packets of Chick Fil A sauce, Jessica and I managed to enjoy some good conversation that helped unwind me from the irritations of the morning.
We held out until all of the kids were melting down at the same time. Then we packed the circus back into our respective minivans and took our tired, black-footed, lemonade-logged kids back on the road. By the time we returned home, it was 3 PM and a quick downhill slide to bedtime.
All in all, it was a great day. (And by great, I mean a day in which none of my agenda items were completed, but instead I got to spend some great time with people that I love, while eating Chick Fil A.)