Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Wheels Were Coming Off...

...I just didn't know it!

When my "jewel" Cathy read yesterday's post, she said: "You need to tell your readers the rest of the story. Tell them how you used to be." Having reread it myself, I quickly agreed that I almost made myself sound a bit "too together." So, here goes.

When our son was 3 and our twin daughters were 6 months, Cathy took the girls to the Dr. for their regular check-up. This one included one of their series of immunization shots.

I got home from work that afternoon all excited about the college basketball game I was scheduled to attend that night. It was late in the season and our small college (I worked there at the time) team was good. In fact, they ultimately won the national championship in their division that year. I tell you that small detail so you will understand how important it was for me to go to the game. (a-hem)

Our girls were having typical reactions to their shots. Both were running slight fevers and were extra fussy. Cathy, with two crying babies and a full-speed 3-year-old, was trying to prepare dinner. One look in her eyes and It was obvious she was wiped out!

"All fine and good," I thought. "Let's just get this thing put together so I can get to my game!" The only problem was that the girls weren't really ready for bed right after dinner. And our son didn't go to bed until 8 p.m. The game started at 7:30!

That's when it happened. I couldn't believe it! My thoughtless wife actually asked me to stay home and help her with the kids! I mean, couldn't she see how important this was?

Wonderful, suffering husband that I am, I stayed home until Sean was in bed. All the while, I was listening to the game on the radio and COMPLETELY DETACHED from my family.

As soon as our son was down, I ran out the front door to watch the second half live. In my most gracious (and clueless) voice, my departing words were, "Please check the basketball schedule next time before you take them for their shots."

I almost included the word "jerk" in today's title. As humbling as it is to tell you this story, I must also admit that it took several years for me to realize just how "out of balance" I was that night.

There you have it, Rachel Cotterill! And there you have it, other blogging friends. I hope it helps you.

I have no idea who won the game that night, but my personal failure helped prepare me for better times in the game of life.


beckiwithani said...

I am so glad you learned your lesson before I was old enough to remember you doing that kind of thing....

Dina said...

Based on your departing words to Cathy, "jerk" would have definitely fit in the title - ha ha. Yesterday's and today's posts were great. Everyday I work to make better time decisions and it's usually quite obvious when I fail. Learning what balance feels like is so important. I find it frustrating sometimes that even when I know I've let my life get out of balance that I still resist making the necessary changes right away to correct the balance.

Deanna said...

The part of this that struck a chord with me was "completely detached".

I can recall some evenings with my husband that went a little like this, but I'm trying to focus on MY priorities and not his, haha.

I have some very fun and rewarding activities that, while they enrich our family, sometimes turn into my priorities focusing on the enriching activity rather than our actual life and relationships. Its a big red flag that I'm getting out of balance when my mind is connecting to whatever important enrichment I have going but totally disconnected from the real live people in front of me.

C. Beth said...

Ha!! That story is really funny, knowing you now and realizing how much you've improved. I suppose if you were still that way, it would just be sad. Thanks for changing.

Deanna--Loved what you said. I definitely do that too.

addhumorandfaith said...

What a wonderful example of teaching by example, Sam.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I am glad for you (and your amazing blogging dynasty of a family!) that you learned from it... I suppose I would call it 'growing up' even though I have no idea how old you were at the time of the story (old enough to be married with a 3-year-old). Thank you for sharing so that we can all learn from your experience (and now you'll all have to excuse me because I have a deadline to meet tonight...... not quite out of balance, though I admit it's close this time, but I'm aware that I work better under pressure!)

Sam said...

Writing today's story was a load of fun for me. While the lesson was learned the hard way, I smile when I think of it. Thank you all for commenting. Thank you, Rachel, for asking me a great, probing question. I appreciate that!

Rachel Cotterill said...

It was an easy question to ask - undoubtedly harder to answer (isn't it always that way?)