This is how it goes sometimes

Posted by on in Blog, Motherhood, Self-care | 0 comments

plastic-fork-231987_1280I stood at the kitchen counter, peering down into the white paper sack that was supposed to hold my dinner.

I did a mental inventory of the contents again, sure I was missing something.

One package of disposable plastic dinnerware.

A bundle of napkins.

Two packages of saltine crackers.

One large container of cream gravy.

A pat of soft butter.

And that was all.

I checked the fridge, then the bag, then the fridge again.

“Honey?” I called to my husband.  “Where is my dinner?”

It was 9 pm.  It had been a long day.  I was hungry.  I was tired.  The baby wasn’t sleeping well.

And the restaurant folks, in their rush to put together a to-go order, had included all the condiments, dining ware and napkins I needed.  And a tub of gravy.  But no dinner.

This is how it goes sometimes.

My husband, to his great credit, insisted on going back to the restaurant a second time and getting me dinner.

The restaurant folks gave him at $10 gift card for his trouble.

These things were both really, really nice.

As I sat there eating my fried chicken (oh yes, and it was delicious), I thought about how hard it is to be a parent.

How hard it is to be a partner.

How hard it is to be a person.

We’re all so fallible, confused and confusing, messy, and imperfect.  We’re all so vulnerable.

Sometimes, we try to bring home dinner,

and all we come back with—

in spite of calling ahead, and planning—

is a tub of gravy, a pat of butter.

This is how it goes sometimes.

A few nights ago as I was rocking my son to sleep, my mind wandered to the notion of good enough parenting.

I tried it on out loud.  I whispered, “I’m a good enough parent.”

What happened next surprised me.  Inside, a voice said.  “Yes, and sometimes you’re even better than good enough.  You do quite well, most of the time.”

I try to remember that, the next time I lose my temper with my son.

I try to remember that, the next time I really miss the mark when I’m sitting with a client.

I try to remember that, the next time I take my husband for granted.

Often, we do good enough.  And that’s plenty.

And for the other times?

Well, I have a new mantra for that.

This is how it goes sometimes.

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