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Stage Lighting

I had my act together this morning. Honestly! Everyone was fed, dressed, and ready for school. All they had to do was put on their shoes while I grabbed a quick shower and we’d all be “clean and shiny,” as Will likes to say. Like I said, I had my act together. But, as with any role, eventually you break character.

Stepping out of the shower, dripping wet and belting Etta James’ “The Rock” at the top of my lungs, I was met by a belligerent Sam demanding I put his shoes on for him. Now if ever there’s a time when I’m not at my best, it’s when I’m naked and cold, with my wet hair dripping icicles down my back. Plus, I hadn’t even made it to the second repeat of the chorus. Irritating.

“Sam, get out! Right now, mister!” I said in my most authoritative tone (this is sometimes mistaken for yelling, but I assure you, I am capable of quite a significant number of decibels beyond this one).

Sam countered with a whining protest. I sallied back with more authoritative tones. And the end result was me — still arrested mid-song, still naked, still dripping icicles — faced with a hysterical Sam who insisted he wasn’t going anywhere without his shoes.

I took a deep breath, cast my eyes heavenward … and caught God snickering. How do I know that? Well, I’m told he made me in his image which must mean his sense of humor is just as twisted as mine. I arranged my towel a bit more strategically and set about the mammoth task of talking Sam out of his tree. We discussed how mommy needs her private time. We talked about what a big boy Sam is and how he’ll get a smiley face if he gets himself ready for school. And, of course, we touched on how very sorry mommy was for yelling (Sam had trouble grasping the whole “authoritative tone” angle) and how she would try hard not to do it again. Finally, after much tears and snorting, he agreed to leave mama to finish her business while he waited in the living room with his brothers. You know, the two that are perfectly capable of putting on their own shoes. The ones Sam actually helped teach to put on their shoes, but I digress.

I toweled off, threw on my mom uniform –leggings, huge denim shirt, ballet flats — dried my hair at lightening speed and went to try and make amends. Sam looked up at me and said, with just a trace of leftover tears, “My shoes were just being so bad to me today, mom!”

“Rotten shoes!” I concurred as I helped him wiggle first one foot and then the other into his little brown tennis shoes. He even pitched in at the last and helped press the velcro down.

Then we were off, apparently none the worse for wear. And as usual, Sam was the last one into the school coming back twice for extra hugs and kisses, then blowing me countless handfuls of kisses from the steps and shouting, “Bye!! Have a great day!!” until he disappeared down the hallway.

Sometimes I have my act together for almost a full day. Sometimes it only holds steady for a few hours or minutes. But always, always, I’m thankful for the role I landed in this amazing production with this incredible cast.

Now, if I could just get a running supply of M&Ms and Mountain Dew in my trailer….

Posted in Family & Relationships, Kids, Parenting.

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2 Responses

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  1. Heath says

    Your story is so intreging and detailed. I can’t help but answer. just remember who changed that tire for you. so give it back with carma. yes I said carma.

  2. jodi says

    Heath, I will never forget, nor cease to remember you as having a glowing halo hovering just a few inches over your head. And I’m paying it forward as best I can. 😀

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