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Bad Days and Small People

By 9 o’clock this morning not much was going right around the Thompson household. I’d woken up early to get to an 8am doctor’s appointment in Seattle. I’d showered, pumped a bottle for Wanda and woken her up from her slumber to take her with me. I hit the road a little later than I’d hoped and then due to horrible traffic and poor planning I missed my appointment and had to reschedule. I felt awful for standing up my doctor for his first appointment of the day. I felt discouraged at having driven for almost 2 hours with an infant and nothing to show for it. The baby was bawling as I headed for home and so was I.

On top of this, I came home to find that my freezer had stopped working again. When we came home from our 10-day trip to Montana this weekend, we found it full of freezer burned food that had been thawing and refreezing over and over again while we were gone. So I tossed hundreds of dollars of food in the garbage and was hoping to go shopping today to replace it since last night the freezer seemed to be working again. However, as I said, it was still broken.

The icing on this rough morning’s cake was that all the stuff we brought home from vacation was scattered all over the house and possibly mating with its friends, the half-removed Christmas decorations that are also strewn about. Our house looks like a flaming pile of poo, which does nothing to improve my mood. Did I mention that Seattle is a cloudy, dark, depressing hole of darkness this time of year with no glimmer of sunshine to be found?

I was crabby this morning and frustrated and gloom and dooming around the house like a little black rain cloud, asking Dan to make it better.

Over the last 8 years of marriage, Dan has learned that when his crying wife gets home from a fruitless two-hour trip in rush hour traffic and asks him, begs him, to do something about the freezer before heading to work, she really means it. And being Dan, he tries to help me whenever I REALLY mean it. He’s good like that.

So he spent an hour vacuuming out the refrigerator coils and doing everything in his power to fix the situation. Magoo pranced in and out of the kitchen smiling and smashing into things until stressed-out Dan told him go out and possibly never return. I was working on the Christmas tree.

Hearing Dan huffing and grunting in the kitchen, I called out and asked him if he needed any help. He declined.

“I already knew he didn’t need help,” Magoo offered with a knowing smile. “I was in the kitchen helping and he told me to get out.”

This is what I love about Magoo. He always believes the best of everybody and never takes offense. Dad may have been crankily telling him to get out of the way, but Magoo chose to believe that Dan was merely expressing his independence. I wish I were as prone to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and assume their best intentions. He also prefers to believe that everyone agrees with him all the time.

Last night he came up to me and said, “Mom. I want to do a surprise for Dad. I’ll whisper it to you. Let’s put on his favorite song for him!”

“I’m not sure I know his favorite song,” I whispered back.

“That’s okay,” he loudly whispered with a sheepish grin, “I bet it’s the same as mine. Let’s play it!”

So we played a little Journey “for Dan” and danced about the house with Magoo grinning triumphantly over the great service we’d offered.

I am repeatedly amazed that no matter how much work, mess or heartache my kids cause, they always make up for it with their sweetness, their love, their sense of fun and their guilelessness. They teach me every day and make me grateful to be a mother.

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