Thursday, February 17, 2011

One of Those Days

I am having one of those days, actually one of those weeks. The kind of week where you always feel like you are running on an empty tank, half a brain and about an hour behind everyone else. The kind of week where most things that can go wrong do go wrong, the kids are wigging out at every opportunity and best laid plans are now a heap of chaos. My week is the definition of the lunatics running the asylum at the intersection of a rock and a hard place with a giant brick wall for me to bang my head against. I am spinning my wheels, working hard but it's hardly working and there is no rest for the weary, or the wicked, or whoever it is that is perpetually denied rest.

When I get to this point in crazy all I can do is pour myself a cup of coffee and think about a story a dear friend once told me. It is my go-to, "I need a laugh now" never fails me tale of the epitome of parental embarrassment. And for once it didn't happen to me!

I am telling this story without permission but because my friend is generous and forgiving I know she won't mind. I will change the names to protect the innocent and the overwhelmed.

My friend, Melanie is a very poised and confident, professional woman. In fact, when I first met her I was a little intimidated by her 'togetherness.' I know she is laughing because we both know the truth about how together she really is, how together any of us really are when put to the test and boy, was she ever put to the test!

When Melanie's daughter, Allison was about two or three years old they went on a family ski trip. Allison was, and still is, a hardcore animal lover and at the time her favourite movie was Cinderella because of the all the birds and mice and especially the cat, she loved that cat! To help pass the time for Allison while driving on the shuttle between the resort and the ski hill, they brought along a portable DVD player and it worked beautifully ... until it didn't.

 One morning while they were making the drive from the resort to the ski hill on the jam-packed shuttle, the battery died on the DVD player and Allison threw a fit the way only a toddler can. At the top of her lungs poor, little, curly-haired Allison began screaming, "I can't see Lucifer, I can't see Lucifer!" Lucifer is the name of the cat in Cinderella, but the whole scene sounded far more ominous after a few seconds when Allison's voice became hoarse and scratchy.

Soon every eye on the bus was on this red-faced screaming toddler and her mother, my pal, the poised and efficient, Melanie. Melanie was mortified and wanted nothing more than to melt into the floor, but she did her motherly best to calm her screaming exorcist-like child while her husband and son pretended not to know either of them. Melanie tried several things to calm Allson but it wasn't until she promise that Allison "could see Lucifer later" that the screaming finally stopped.

So, whenever I am feeling low, whenever the everyday stuff threatens to overwhelm me I like to think of Melanie and Allison and that busload of strangers. Everyone has a rough day from time to time but at least, "I can't see Lucifer," yet!

A child is a curly dimpled lunatic. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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