The clock read 6:45pm. I should have been up 45 minutes ago. I knew all the things I had to do that today. My outlook calendar was filled with pointless meetings and my phone kept alerting me to emails all needing immediate attention. I wasn’t sure there were clean clothes or food for my kids lunch box. Last night, I crashed around 9pm and decided to leave all my stress and worry until tomorrow. Well, it was now tomorrow. Where was that t-shirt my daughter was supposed to wear? Wet in the dryer, perfect. What was my newly gluten free son going to eat at school? What is that pimple on his head that’s been there all week? Its not mrsa again, is it? How many girls scout cookies did my coworker want again? I was completely overwhelmed by life that I found myself tense and angry. Of course, my daughter drops her breakfast on the ground and I start yelling at her. As we finally rush out the door, I notice my daughter in tears. I want to cry too, but instead apologize for yelling. I know it was an accident.
I drop her off at her classroom and check her in. I tell the teacher that she said was participating something for the pep assembly and ask if she’s suppose to be anywhere special. Her teacher says she will be picked up shortly and then adds, “See you in a few minutes”. Actually, she wont because I can’t attend; I have to drop my son off and head to a pointless 9am meeting. School drop off #2. I am running late and so I can’t do curbside drop off. Irritated, I walk him into his classroom. His teacher looks at me and asks, “Is he doing okay?” Knowing that I only have a few minutes to make it to work, I think about my choices. I could leave or I could stay and talk with her about his new gluten allergy. It then dawns on me. Nothing is more important than my kids. No job, no pointless meeting, nothing. What am I doing?!
So we talk for 15 minutes while she is managing 23 other pre-K students. We talk about options for him and how she’ll continue to monitor what he has for snack. Rice cakes it is! As I was leaving, I immediately started feeling better. Instead of heading to work, I send off the vaguest email ever to my supervisors: “I may need to be out today with kid issues. I will keep you posted.” And then I drive back to my daughter’s school. Her eyes widen and she had the biggest smile when I saw me enter the gym. I receive the warmest hug and she screamed, “You came!!” As she got on stage, she gave me a shy wave. I know she was nervous to dance in front of 500+ kids, but she did amazing. I was so proud of her and so happy that I decided to put myself and my kid first.
After that, I was on a roll. I returned to my son’s school and took him to the doctors. His teacher’s seemed so relieved to not have to worry about his food allergy issues immediately. At the doctor’s office, they took a sample of his pimple and will get it tested for nasty viruses.Then we went on a gluten-free shopping trip to Whole Foods. I got $50 worth of stuff. For lunch, I made him some soy free, dairy free and gluten mac and cheese. He didn’t love it, but managed to eat most of it. I climbed into bed with him and settled him in for his nap. My boss called wanting to know what was going on and tried to assign me some work to do from home if I could. I could have, but didn’t. I needed this day to focus on myself and kids. I feel like an entirely different person than this morning.
Some times you just need to run away.