Thursday, December 23, 2010

Are we there yet?

It was a pretty rough morning. There was a lot of stuff to get done and ready so that we could leave to go to Duluth for the Cronin family Christmas. Maaike and I were both quite stressed and aggravated…of course, it didn’t help that I had had knee surgery yesterday and was on a narcotic pain killer. I was pressing the issue of wanting to get to Duluth as soon as possible, so I got up early (Maaike had been up very late the night before wrapping gifts and getting things ready) and finished packing and getting things pulled together so we could leave. By the time we left, about an hour later than planned, I was, well, to be honest, I was pissed and my knee hurt a lot. And I was not looking forward to spending the next few hours in a car. <A bonus piece of advice for readers: DO NOT ride in a car for several hours within the first five days of knee surgery. Really, just don’t do it!>

After about two hours on the road we are about half way to Duluth – it is normally just a 2 ½ hour trip. We decide to stop for a second time so that Rebekah could nurse and I could stretch my knee and try to get the swelling down. My knee was really hurting and I’m hungry…and grumpy. Maaike nurses Rebekah and gets spit up on. I believe it is important to add here that Rebekah’s spit ups are often two or three times the volume of your average spit up. So, Rebekah needs a new outfit and Maaike now has a wet shirt. We are finally on the road again after 30 or 40 minutes.

About 20 minutes after we get back on the road I start to hear some soft singing coming from the back seat. Then a pause and, “Are we there yet?” In the midst of all this craziness, despite all of my frustration and grumpiness somehow Mary Jane did not realize that she was “supposed” to be grumpy, too. How could she be singing with her barbies and playing happily? And how could she possibly not know that we are most certainly not there yet? “No, honey,” I reply, “we still have more than an hour to go.”

Now, being in the foul mood I was in, I assumed that MJ would respond the same way I would have. But she didn’t. “Oh, okay.” Was all she said. And then she went back to playing with her barbies and singing to herself. It appeared that Mary Jane was in a place where she was simply accepting what was going on around her. She was in a wonderful mood and was determined to have fun both on the way to Duluth and once we got there. What Mary Jane taught me again today is that I always have a choice about how I will respond to the people and events in my life. Things may go the way I have planned and they may not. People may be “nice” and “cooperative” and they may not be. I cannot truly control any of that. What I can control; where I do have choice is in how I choose to respond.

I want to choose to sing and have fun…no matter what is happening around me. Thank you, Mary Jane, for the lesson and reminder!

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