I entered a writing contest today. I won't find out until October or November if I won, but it will give me something to look forward to. The prize is a book or something. No cash. It was free to enter so I have nothing to lose. I'm excited about it. Well, I thought I would post it on here so you could tell me that you liked it.
The rule was that you had to start the short essay with this sentence:
“The boys are screaming, the mom’s pulling out her hair, and the dad’s, well let’s just say he’s _________.”
The boys are screaming, the mom’s pulling out her hair, and the dad’s, well let’s just say he’s snuggled up to the remote. Being the aforementioned mom, I had a few choices.
I could have tried duct-taping the boys to the kitchen chairs, throwing a sandwich to the husband and retreating to a soak in a candle-lit bathtub for the evening. That sounded like a pretty wise choice except one can never tell when duct tape will be needed next. It’s better to have the tape when you need it, than to need it and not have it. If something gets broken around the house, it’s not likely that it will get fixed properly any time soon, so it’s nice to keep the duct tape around.
Next choice: I could have requested sweetly that my husband, aw, never mind. That wouldn’t have worked.
Then I thought: Well, what if, I mean what if, I ran out the door without saying a word? Surely there’s a movie theatre with gloriously buttered popcorn that I could sneak off to. It would have been survival-of-the-fittest around the house. I wasn’t really sure who the fittest would have been. The thought of coming back home to chaos scratched out that idea out pretty quickly.
To save the rest of my hair I knew that a decision needed to be made quickly. My nerves were begging for a retreat, but my mind knew that things needed to be taken care of. I took a step back and looked at my husband, who was perfectly comfortable in the recliner, when a question popped in my head. I thought, “Would I trade his long hours and sweaty work for an evening with the remote?” I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t. Then I looked at my two boys who were fighting over the phone and I asked myself, “Would I trade going to junior high for an evening filled with phone calls to my friends?” Honestly, I wouldn’t wish junior high school on my worst enemy. I knew I wouldn’t want to trade them.
While I stood there, I made a decision. I decided that I would be the thermostat of the evening instead of the thermometer. I chose to control the evening’s climate instead of boiling over. I chose to be peaceful and loving instead of stressed and aggravated.
I invited the boys to help me cook dinner. I don’t know why it’s so thrilling to add the cheese to the macaroni, but it is for them. I asked my hard working husband if he would like a glass of tea to go with his remote. The surprised look of joy on my husband’s face made my decision well worth it.
After a pleasant dinner that the boys were very proud of, guess who got a candle-lit soak in the bath? I taped an OFF DUTY sign on the bathroom door and was refreshed by the warm water and the knowledge that my family was well taken care of.