Kids, Cars and Chaos

Look for the gems hidden in the sands of time.

Thursday and Friday of this past week were so busy the large McDonald’s coffee I drank before school on Friday left me wondering if they had made a mistake and given me decaf. By noon I was dragging and I had promised the students’ lunch with me in the classroom. I pulled out my travel mug of green tea and my Greek yogurt loaded with protein and played charades with the kids marveling at their energy after an equally long week.

I had one and half more hours, two fall projects and a math lesson to complete before the end of the school day. Luckily it was Friday which meant help; another adult would be in the room all afternoon. When children start counting down the days until Halloween, you might as well stand back and enjoy their excitement because adding and subtracting greater numbers just doesn’t compare to dressing up in a costume and getting a bag full of candy.

In the midst of collecting their, thankful leaves, cutting out pumpkins and gluing on their poems, stressing because their voices were getting louder and louder, a boy handed me his leaf and said, “Look.” Under- I’m Thankful For…, he had written-My Teacher. I froze in shock, the pandemonium of the classroom surrounded me-this was a gem. A moment that reminded me to look beyond the noise and find the treasure.

Later that day, I rummaged through the fridge. The yogurt and tea had worn off and I was ravenous. I still needed to fulfill my duties as treasurer of the Band Parents Association, and make it to the bank before six. Daughter and husband came home. Daughter had passed her driving test. I was happy for her but uneasy about this new change in our lives. Husband was sick and went to lie down.

Son needed to be driven to the high school for middle school night with the high school marching band. He was told to wear jeans for his uniform but informed me twenty minutes before we had to leave that he had none. I bolted upstairs to go through his closet and then I heard my daughter’s voice, “Mom, I cut myself can you get a band-aid?”

There were no jeans anywhere and I blamed myself for not being one of those moms who love to shop. I ran back downstairs and saw blood gushing from my daughter’s finger. She had sliced it while opening a can of cat food. Blood was everywhere! By this time, I was thinking I needed to make a trip to the emergency room instead of the bank and high school.

I ran back upstairs for some gauze pads and contemplated grabbing the super glue. I had heard of it being done before. Super glue the cut in place of stitches-tempting considering the long wait and high cost of a hospital visit.

We taped the gauze around her finger. She calmly said, “This hurts about the same as my blister.” No screaming, no tears, just the sound of my son’s drumsticks tapping the coffee table waiting for the okay to wear his shorts to the game. I stood there, like I did in the classroom, in disbelief, letting life spin around me.

Husband woke and insisted on taking son to the football game to hear him play. Always a great dad. I stayed with daughter to keep an eye on her finger. She was fine and after completing a homework assignment decided to go to the game.

I peeked out the window and watched the red brake lights flicker in the dark as she slowly backed up and headed down our street without me. It had been a crazy day and from the silence of our house I watched her drive away. After seventeen years together with me behind the wheel, listening to Raffi, then Radio Disney and finally B-103.9 in the background of our conversations, now she was in the driver’s seat. I picked up my phone and held it until I got her text. “Here” I breathed. This was going to take some getting used to.

More than ever it is clear that life is change and I must always be on the lookout for the little gems as time drifts by.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elena Shidel
    Oct 23, 2010 @ 22:34:32

    You captured the feelings of parents everywhere. You are certainly a gem in my life.

    Reply

  2. Emma D Dryden
    Oct 25, 2010 @ 11:03:44

    Oh, yes, Krista! Oh, yes! Keep listening for the wonderful music that exists behind the noise.

    Reply

  3. Sherrie
    Oct 25, 2010 @ 12:24:07

    I am again reminded why it’s best to have children while you are young. I don’t think I could keep up now. I love the last line and think I’ll post it on my refridgerator as a reminder. Congrats to “your daughter” for passing her driving test.

    Reply

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The Picture Book Review

Picture book reviews, reviews of books with pictures, and pictures of books!

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