Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring Break --- Wednesday

Some days do not not follow a predictable path. Sometimes, we plan and hope and lay it all out "just so" only to find that our best laid plans do not play out the way we expected they would. Yesterday was that way for us...

I woke early to drive up north to meet a friend for breakfast. Mark had decided to take the day off and so I was relishing my short-lived freedom and looking forward to good conversation and good food and a little time to myself.

Mark, on the other hand, was home with our squirrely children who woke up VERY early to build with their new Legos. As I drove in silence, he was juggling scrambled eggs and scattered blocks and the necessary explanation of every inch of a their new creations. But, we had a plan. After breakfast, Mark would pile the children into the truck and drive to nearby train station. They would then take the train downtown, to the Museum of Science and Industry, where we have a family membership. After my breakfast out, I would drive downtown to meet up with them and enjoy a family day together. A good plan. A well-thought-out plan.

It started out okay... except for my phone. My fairly new phone, a Palm Centro, has lost all button capabilities. The touch screen still works... but you need the buttons to turn it on. So, I can receive calls but I cannot place them. A little frustrating... especially when I get lost while driving up north to meet a friend for breakfast. But, phone or no phone, the plan could still go on... or so I thought.

I made it to breakfast and had a wonderful time talking with a new friend. It was a good way to start my day and felt like such a treat to speak face to face with another adult. As I was talking however, pieces of the plan were falling apart back home.

Mark successfully saw the children through breakfast and dressing and finding shoes and loading up. He pulled out of the driveway and heard a strange noise coming from beneath his truck. Determined to make it to the train, he headed onward and found the two highways that can take him to the station were both absolutely backed up with traffic. And then, more noise... enough noise to really strike fear and worry into my dear husband. A truck full of well-loved children is one thing... well-loved children in a truck that is making horrible, clanking, sounds-like-stuff-is-falling-off noises is another thing entirely.

As all this happened, I was on my way out of the suburbs, linking highway to highway, in hopes of meeting my family at the museum. My half-broken phone rang and a quick glance at the caller ID made me think my best friend, June was calling. But, it was Mark's voice I heard next.

"Don't go the city!" he blurted out.

"Huh?" I responded.

"Where are you? Don't go to the city!" he continued.

It was then that I remembered that the call had come not from home but instead from June's home number. With the truck breaking down, Mark went to the closest place he could to park the truck and put the kids back into a safe place.

So, I came home and the truck went into the shop. We did not go to the city and the kids were temporarily disappointed. We ate the lunches they had packed for our outing sitting at the dining room table. It was not what we had planned. Sometimes, that happens...

We have been saving up gift certificates for a local theater and Mark and I decided this was the time to use them. After Elizabeth's nap, we surprised the kids with a trip to movies to see Monsters vs. Aliens... in 3D no less! They laughed out loud and did not move a muscle as the movie came to life not only on the screen but nearly in their laps. And as usual, Mark and I spent as much time looking at their sweet faces, lit with neon screen colors, smiling and giggling and engrossed in a story that was new to them.

The evening was busy with the stuff we have to do... choir rehearsal, batting practice, church events and driving... but I couldn't help but reflect on the fact that we were able to do it together. We didn't get downtown. The kids did not get on a train. But, even in our disappointment we kept on going. And we had a chance to teach our kids a little something about the unpredictability of day to day life. It doesn't always go our way. Sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes our plan A must give way to plan B or plan C... or plan K.

As we loaded our kids into the van to go to the movie theater, Josiah reflected on this very thing.

"Is this plan B, Daddy?" he asked.

"Yep Buddy, this is plan B... "

"Well," Josiah continued, "If plan B doesn't work, maybe plan C will...or D?"

Yep, maybe it will. Yesterday, it did. It wasn't what we hoped for but in the end it was enough.

Wednesday is over --- Check back tomorrow to read about our morning turned on it's ear...

No comments: