Narrow Margins

The individual heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and Valentine’s Day cards provided my kids a greater-than-expected distraction from eating breakfast and finishing their morning preparations for school.

The night before, a last-minute invitation threw a curve in our typical school vigil organization routine when our five-year-old Benjamin’s basketball coach invited him and his teammates to attend the Wichita State University men’s basketball game.  Consequently, in the morning we were scouring to find three red shirts the kids got to wear with jeans as a reward for a successful blood drive. Meanwhile, Gianna was scrambling to finish her last few Valentines card.

Despite their protests and requests for one minute more, I had to insist that everyone stop what they are doing, brush teeth, and get in the van to avoid getting pink tardy slips.

As we backed out of the drive, I saw a flurry of papers swirl in the air on the passenger side of the van.  My husband had accidently left a stack on our vehicle.  I urged Ian to collect the papers.  As soon as the van door was closed, I put my foot on the gas as we sped off to school.

But looking in the rear view mirror Ian had only collected a third of Joe’s papers.  The rest were scattered at the end of the driveway.  I quickly assessed my options: do I go back and pick up the papers, making the kids be late for school, or since there was no wind do I leave them there and pick them up when I get back?  It was a rare occasion that I did not bring my cell phone with me, so I couldn’t call Joe to alert him about the papers.  I opted to take the kids to school and come back for the papers.

But when I drove back down our street there were no trace of the papers.  Joe freaked when I told him and went into panic looking for the critical documents.  I felt bad and started to second guess my choice.

Looking at the lose –lose propositions I had to pick from, I concluded that my contribution to the chaos was the razor-thin margins I often have in my life.  If we had some extra time to buffer the distractions, I would have been in a position both to pick up all of my husband’s papers and get the kids to school on time.
Joe walked in the kitchen, relieved with a handful of papers.  He told me that we have a neighborhood angel.

I’m still working out how to show each member of my family consideration and love while juggling everything else.   I’m grateful God still provides the heavenly support we often need to make things work.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip:  Do the margins in your life allow you to love under pressure?