“If he wrecks the car, I’m gonna lose it. I know I should try to be calm, but I’ll probably flip out.” She made the little half giggle she does when she’s making a half joke…like, I’m trying to poke fun at my hypothetical freak out, but it probably won’t be hypothetical.
My friend and I were talking about our oldests getting their driver’s permits and navigating another new parental “letting go” milestone.
“Same. I’ve basically been losing it over everything since mid-March.” I said. I can’t remember if I made my own half giggle at that remark. But if I did, I should not have. Because there has been nothing funny about my mental well-being for the vast majority of 2020. Continue reading “Embrace Grace”
“That will be $5.66. Please pull around to the first window.”
I slowly coax my van forward in the pouring rain, fumbling in my purse to find cash. As the car moves, I instinctively turn the radio back up to catch the end of “Sister Golden Hair” by America, then almost immediately lower the volume, lest the teenage girl at the drive-thru window gets wind of my song choice and thinks to herself that it’s “typical” driving music for a lame mom in a minivan. It’s a weird phobia I have…of not wanting strangers to know too much about how I exist inside my car. Because the dirty exterior, scraped-up side mirrors, and “This Van Is Stacked” window sticker aren’t somehow as damaging to my cred as blaring “Sister Golden Hair.”
Handing over my cash, I feel raindrops from the top of my car drip onto my arm, soaking through my sleeve and immediately chilling my skin. The cashier gives me my change, and I clumsily drop the two of the coins onto the pavement below, one of them being a quarter. Fantastic. It has been one of those days – the kind of day I know better than to grumble about aloud, because it could be worse. But it certainly hasn’t been great either, and it doesn’t seem to want to let up. Like this rain. I mean, I am semi-voluntarily eating at McDonald’s without kids, if that is any indication of my mood. What mother, when flying solo, elects the home of the Happy Meal as the nourishment that will make her feel good about herself and her choices that day? This usually happens only when few other options exist, as is my case at the moment.
But it turns out, McDonald’s was exactly what I needed that day. Rather, the angel wearing a headset at the second drive-thru window was exactly what I needed. Continue reading “Drive-Thru Kindness: Now Serving Extra Value Compassion”
If you were to ever secretly record me watching television, you’d see a lot of this:
I am a crier. Just a few days ago, I found myself crying at that State Farm commercial where the guy keeps saying he’s never going to do something (get married, have kids, drive a minivan…), then it cuts to a shot of him on the couch with his sleeping wife and two kids saying, “I’m never letting go.” Those four words crawled right out of the television, down my throat, and wrestled themselves into nice fat lump for me to get all choked up on. That’s right, people. I cried at a STATE FARM COMMERCIAL. You can add that to the very long list of culprits which have made me weepy, including standing ovations, wedding toasts, the song “Gracie” by Ben Folds, cute old men doing just about anything, and the graduation episode of Saved By the Bell. (Damn you, Mr. Belding! I always knew you loved Zack best.) Continue reading “Compassion Is In the Details: #1000Speak”