8:30 A.M. “Okay girls, we should start getting ready, Mary’s (12) dance recital is about 30 minutes away, it starts at 12 and we have to be there an hour early. We should get going at 10:00.”
I started helping my youngest sister, Tara (8), with her hair while another sister, Cara (10), started making breakfast for our big family.
9:00 A.M. “Hey, Cara, why don’t you get dressed? Breakfast looks great but you should get ready to go” As usual, there was no response from Cara.
My parents walked in the front door and began rummaging through some papers in the kitchen. Apparently no one printed the 7 tickets we needed to go to the recital and the code my mom got to print them from the website was missing. She was frustrated saying that she doesn’t like using the computer and it isn’t her fault that the tickets weren’t printed. My dad went to log into the computer to check her email and retrieve the tickets but she couldn’t remember her password. The argument about the tickets continued as my father was finally able to get into the email account, and my mother was trying to fix Mary’s hair. Eventually we realized that without the code we had misplaced, we couldn’t print the tickets and may not be able to watch Mary’s show.
9:30 A.M. “Mary, is your hair almost finished so I can do your makeup? Cara, have you gotten dressed yet? Can someone please get Little Man (2) upstairs? I think he woke up.” Still no response from Cara, still ignoring me, she is busy making mango pastries, Tara is trying to help her hurry up while my mom is still battling the bun maker she is trying to put into Mary’s hair.
At this point, the anxiety is kicking in, I wanted to be in the car no later then 10:15 but no one was ready or showing any real signs of hurrying. Realizing the bun would take some more time, I brought the makeup over to where Mary was sitting. I started applying foundation and then heard Little Man up in his crib, no one had gone up to get him out of the crib yet. GAHHHH!!! Why is no one listening?? Leaving Mary to finish up her foundation, I ran up to get the little guy myself. He’s such a good boy, when I got him he was happy and ready to come downstairs, he told me he had to use the potty so I ran him downstairs to plop him down then ran back to Mary.
10:00 A.M. “Cara, please, please, please I love your breakfasts’, but please get dressed and ready for the recital, we have to go as soon as possible! We can eat the fabulous food you prepared once you’re all ready.” Still ignoring me, Cara is putting her mango pastries into the oven and setting the timer for 20 minutes – we didn’t have time for that!! Didn’t anyone else realize we had to go? Also, where is Evan, he was supposed to be here by now we have to go soon!
Dad came out of the office officially giving up on his ticket search. We were going to wing it and hopefully we’d be able to explain the situation to the recital people so we could watch the show. He took over in the kitchen so Cara could (finally) get herself ready. I was still working on Mary’s makeup when Evan rang the doorbell. Thank goodness! Reinforcements have arrived and he’s even wearing the outfit I’d picked out for him – what a keeper. He walked in stunned to find the house in such disarray and no one actually ready to leave by 10:15. He came in and helped tidy up while I sped through the makeup application which I finished in record time. I ran upstairs to get Little Man his outfit of the day, pleased with the spiffy little get up, I threw the clothes at Evan. He helped our little godson to get dressed and to breakfast.
10:30 A.M. “Okay everyone, hopefully we can still make it, we really have to go now Mary is going to be late!!” Still moving at glacier paces, my family is still not ready to get into the car.
Finally, people realize that we have to get going and after scarfing the breakfast Cara had been making all morning, most of us ran out to the car. Where is mom? After waiting another 10 minutes, she finally walked out and into the car. As we were driving, she had us all to pray so that we’d be able to get the ticket situation sorted out.
11:00 A.M. Evan: “Ash, what time did we have to get here? 11? Your parents are amazing a quick prayer and – great parking, we made it right on time AND your mom was able to sort out the ticket problem.”
Evan was right, no matter how much I stress about my family’s constant struggles with time management and their lack of obsessing planning, it always works out. We made it to the show, Mary danced beautifully and we all had a lovely rest of the day. Even though the show ran overtime and little man got anxious halfway through, I didn’t try to restrain him. Instead, I laughed with Evan and the gentleman sitting in front of us as Little Man started dancing in the isle next to our row. If he wanted to dance, who was I to stop him and really, why should I? He wasn’t really disturbing anyone or anything.
I realized that while I may stress about time and keeping my siblings in check, my anxieties are really unnecessary because no matter what, things work out. After I finally let go and went with the flow of my spontaneous parents and siblings, I enjoyed the rest of the day. My family is a little nutty, but despite it all (or maybe because of it all) I love them for it. Sitting there in that stuffy theater, I took a moment to remember how lucky I am to have them all. I was happy.
It isn’t easy, but I’m going to try and relinquish the control I often burden myself with.
And there you have it, my life’s first (documented) happy highlight.