Thursday, October 9, 2008

Another Woman's Shoes

A funny thing happened to me on the way to the gym this morning...

Justin has not been around for the past two days because he has had meetings in San Antonio and here in Austin, therefore I have been flying solo in the parenting department.  Yesterday was a very busy day---like all days with four little children---and by the end of the day I was totally beat, so when I laid down with Bracken and Abbie I fell asleep.  Now that in and of itself is nothing remarkable because I fall asleep while laying with them all the time, however Justin is usually home to come and wake me up and then send me off to bed in our room.  Last night he was not around to send me off to bed, or to wake me up and remind me that today would be "Maria day" (Maria is the wonderful woman who comes once every other Thursday and helps by deep cleaning the house).  As everyone who has ever had cleaning help knows, you must clean before they come to clean.  I remember complaining about this as a child, what was the point of Rosa coming if we all had to clean everything up before she came?  As a mother now I know the reason is that every mother would rather have the cleaning people cleaning toilets than picking up socks and toys---save the dirty work for those who are being paid!

Anyway, because I had fallen asleep the night before much earlier than I had anticipated, I spent the entire morning this morning rushing around trying to get the whole house picked up, dinner dishes done, kids awakened, dressed, fed, breakfast dishes done, lunches packed, myself dressed, diaper bag packed (really my purse, who uses diaper bags these days when you have this many kids?), and all of the rest of the things that go along with mommy morning routines.  I needed to have everything done by the time Maria would arrive at 8:30, she isn't supposed to come until 9:00 but she must operate on some sort of reverse Mormon Standard Time because she's always early.  Needless to say I did not have everything done by the time she arrived.  I continued to dress babies and do big girl hair for the fifteen minutes after Maria showed up with her own mop (I have yet to figure out why she does that, we have a perfectly good mop that is brand new).  Quickly I threw all of the kids into the car, buckled them into their respective safety seats, and headed at the fastest possible speed to the preschool.  We were still nearly 25 minutes late.  I hate being late.

After successfully dropping the older two off at school I tried to decompress in the parking lot.  I knew I was on my way to the gym and that I would be able to drop my babies off in the daycare center and be able to jump on an elliptical for my standard 60 minute workout.  I cherish this time because it's really the only "me time" I ever have.  I am able to not worry about where my kids are or what they are doing and I can actually listen to my own music!!  The only drawback is that at our gym you have to make an appointment for any infant under 12 months.  I have been counting down the days until Ruby's first birthday for months now.  So, from the parking lot of the preschool, I called to make an appointment for Ruby for ASAP.  It was 9:30 at the time and the first available appointment wasn't until 10AM.  I decided that being able to workout and have some time to myself was worth waiting in the gym parking lot for 30 minutes.  I used that time to clean out the car while my little ones watched a LeapFrog Learn to Read DVD.  Finally at five minutes to 10:00 I unloaded Ruby and Tate from the car and began walking into the gym, it is at that time that I noticed something devastating.  In all of my rushing around I had not changed from my flip flops, there I was with my gym bag, exercise clothes, two kids, and psyche all ready to go AND NO STUPID SHOES!!!!  I do not live close to the gym so there was no point in going all the way home just to get my shoes, and I couldn't go home and let Ruby nap because Maria needed to get into every room.

It was tragic really.  I decided that since I was already all the way out there and I had made an appointment for Ruby at the childcare center I may as well walk in and cancel the appointment and explain to the girls there what had happened.  It was then that fate stepped in.  As Tate lingered by the Life Cafe and tried to pull the decorative balloons off of the menu board, a woman I recognized walked through the gym doors.  My brain stalled for a minute, I knew I recognized her and finally processed where I had met her and thankfully what her name was.  She and her husband are looking at the lot next to our home.  We had met maybe two times but I had never seen her without her two kids or her husband.  She smiled when she saw me and asked how I was, I told her great other than the fact that I had gotten all the way to the gym and realized that I had no shoes.  It was at that time that this basically perfect stranger, without even pausing asked what size shoes I wore and took the shoes off of her own feet.  She said she was on her way up to pilates and that she doesn't wear shoes in there anyway then she handed me the shoes and said she'd catch up with me after our workouts.  

I couldn't believe it!  If I had just decided to bag it and not even go inside to cancel my appointment, or if I hadn't had to wait for Tate to play with the balloons, if anything had happened just one or two minutes more quickly or more slowly then I would never have run into Julie and she could never have saved me.  As all of my mom friends know there are many times when you can be on the brink of tears and you just need to escape, just for an hour, when your husband is out of town, your cleaning lady is in your house, and you've been trapped alone with your kids, doing everything yourself, and you have nowhere to go-----Julie saved me today!!!!  THANK YOU JULIE!!!

Also, the kids continue to be are some of their quotes:

"Mom, my Grandma Clemma says I can do that..." -Abbie (her grandmothers names are Marilyn, Ginger, and Carolyn)

"My dog Clana says oink."-Abbie (we do not have a dog)

"Oh mommy it's that little piggy that loves Simba, I love that little piggy!"-Abbie commenting on Pumba

"...and thank you that there is a new episode on of Jack's Big Music Show, I really love that show, especially ones that I've never seen..."-Bracken praying

"Mommy I really don't think that Maria should have to clean our house.  You always say that whoever makes the mess has to clean it up, how about you and Maria can be a team, you two can clean up together.  I bet she would love it if you helped her!"-Bracken on having a cleaning lady

"What do you mean Gigi's mommy died?  How can an old lady have a mommy?"-Bracken on the passing of Justin's grandmother (and Gigi is not an old lady)


Jacob said...

Beautifully written. I was reading on the edge of my seat thinking "WHAT IS SHE GOING TO DO? She can't go all the way home after all that effort to get to the gym!"

Yay for Julie!

J and Rachel Kirkham said...

Hooray for Julie and congrats to you for going to the gym so religiously with four kids and a traveling husband! I can't believe how blond Ruby is...oh and is she eating rocks in that picture? So glad you're blogging!!!

Mer Swift said...

Isn't it funny, how things can just seem so up in the air and falling apart, but then something happens and you realize everything is actually amazingly in place and things basically worked out, and worked out well? ... That was the longest run-on sentence I've ever written.

The Carlsons said...

May we all be as amazing as Julie....

Melodrama Mama said...

I love people who don't hesitate to help! It sounds like things are going well for you in TX but know that you are missed here!

abbie said...

basically i'm just impressed you are that overjoyed to be on the elliptical for 60 minutes! the list of excuses i have to drive past the gym everyday (that is 1 mile from my house) is quite long. love the posts!