This is borderline positive-thinking for parents. It doesn’t sound positive, but sometimes it is all I can muster. Here are a few examples from this past Saturday.
I get the unexpected 8 am call from the neighbors. “Did you know your garage door is open?” I run out and realize that all is well and accounted for. Phew.
After my husband, I didn’t do it this time, left the garage door open, I gave a big lecture to the girls that we must always close the door when we are the last one to go inside. Fast forward two hours, and we are returning home from the grocery store and in the middle of unloading our merchandise. Our 10 year old remembers my lecture well. She promptly closes the garage door, beaming with pride that she is contributing to team family. “I closed the garage door,” she announces. My husband and I look at each other. After 22 combined years of dating and marriage, we both arrive at the same conclusion. Unfortunately, since we are in the middle of unloading, the tailgate of our SUV is still open. I run out and see the tailgate door mostly closed, in an awkward position. Upon inspection, the tailgate is deeply scratched, but functioning. The garage door is no worse for wear. This has not always been the case, but that is a different story, and I didn’t do it this time. We got lucky.
I look up from my task and realize, my toddler is not underfoot. The girls and I begin searching for him. Everywhere, twice. Okay, seriously, where is he??? Then, I find him, safe. Naughty, but safe. He has found the open jelly bean machine in a remote corner of my daughter's room, hidden from view between her queen bed and the wall, and is piling fistfuls of jelly belly beans in his 8-toothed mouth. “Ummmy,” he says. I know my son considered himself lucky.
I’m washing a sink full of dishes. It is bottomless. My wet, but clean, dishes are piling dangerously high on the nearby counter. I’m having a pity party for one. Then, CRASH! A china bowl, from the clean heap, plunges overboard and smashes e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e! Crap! Then, I think, please let that be the bowl with the chip in it that I should have thrown away years ago. P-l-e-a-s-e! Upon review of the surviving bowls...YESSSS!
Do you see where I am going with this? Say it with me, “It could be worse.”