It was seven in the morning. I shifted into fire-drill mode. I loved the early morning calls in my brief stint as a substitute teacher. They meant income. But I also dreaded them because of the frenzy that followed. This morning, Buchanan School needed a kindergarten teacher: my favorite grade, a nearby school, and a one-hour countdown. "I can do it," I answered cheerily.
First, the children. "Hurry, please. Mommy has to teach today!" They knew that no-nonsense voice. They dressed as they came to the table. I rushed them through the breakfast-cereal routine while I stuffed bag lunches. My three boys, loving the drama, grabbed their backpacks and took off at a clip for the bus stop. I called the dear grandma down the street to come for my youngest child, bewildered by my flurry of guilt kisses.
Next, the animals. I fed the dogs, cats, guinea pigs, parakeet, and mice in stopwatch time, promising them a treat when I got home. I left the snakes for later.
Last up, me. I had the two-minute routine down pat. I can make it! I pushed open the garage door, and stood there. Paralyzed. How could I forget? We were a one-car family. It was my husband's week to drive car pool!
The school never called again.
Why that story? We all love story; we all learn from story. However, my view of story is through the rear-view mirror, remembering what I learned from parenting a quiver of children on the road you now travel.
The rear-view mirror reminds me of what we have in common on this road well-traveled. Stress. Children. A clock-driven world. Work. Guilt kisses. Rushing little ones. Pushing ourselves. I'm eager to share my insights with you, to give you confidence on your journey. That's what I do best.
A Colorful Thought: Good parenting is like a promising sunrise on the road we travel.