Acceptance at last
After Tanya's shower, I vowed that I was done. That drive brought back every frantic dash of the past few years, and I didn't like it. I liked being early. I loved being early. Better late than never, but never late is better.
And so we lived happily ever after, right?
We've definitely improved. We're nearly almost always on time, and life is calmer without all the running and shouting and blaming. Sam has reduced the number of times he asks what time it is as we drive to school to one, or maybe two, and he's had to go to the office for only one late pass so far. Rob sometimes claims he's been trying to get us to set a load time all along, but mostly he just tells the kids to put their shoes on 15 minutes earlier than he used to. For me, stopping the problem before it starts -- as in, at the moment I decide to roll over and go back to sleep, or make a pit stop at the bank -- has worked out a lot better than just trying to drive fast enough to get somewhere before we actually left.
And my shoulders have come down out of my ears.
If you'd asked me a month ago, I would have told you that I was late because I didn't really worry about time, and I would have been wrong. I worried about it constantly, like a person who doesn't wear a watch on vacation and then spends every minute asking strangers what time it is. When I do this -- when we do this, since we've started to involve our older kids in the nighttime prep as well -- we're on time. When we don't -- and sometimes, especially on weekends, I just can't face another scheduled day -- we're not, and that's pretty much all there is to it. Most times, it's worth it. Sometimes, it's not. But people are a lot nicer when you're late only some of the time, and I guess we can live with that.
Freelance writer KJ Dell'Antonia lives in New Hampshire.