Around 8:45 am I was observing in a kindergarten room. One thing I noticed was a slew of stuffed animals. There must be something special going on, I thought. Then suddenly *snap*snap*smash* it hit me.
*Snap* I bet Sam would love to bring a stuffed animal to kindergarten.
*Snap* I wonder which one he would bring?
*SMASH* Crap. I know which one it would be because TODAY he was supposed to bring a stuffed animal to school, but we forgot to put it in his backpack this morning.
My blood went cold. My stomach knotted. How could we have forgotten? He’s been talking about it for more than a week. He even interviewed his pups in order to determine which one he should take to school on Friday, March 9. (Today! Ugh!) He decided on Big Dog, but we said the stuffed animal had to fit in his backpack. The alternate choice went to Brownie, the biggest pup that would fit in his backpack. (Sam has quite a collection of pups.) Then, to top off the guilt, this week he’s been reviewing school rules with Big Dog (just in case we changed our minds) and Brownie.
I contemplated calling central office and telling them I was sick and had to go home. It wouldn’t have been a lie. I did feel sick. Even worse than the sick that comes with a cold or flu. This was sick with guilt and major momma failure.
Thankfully a rational thought surfaced. I can call Andy. I slipped out of the room and remembered the deal we made (pre-kids) when buying a house nearly an hour away from my work, but minutes away from his:
Me: You’ll be the one to run things into kids at school and to pick them up if they are sick and all of that stuff.
Him: No problem.
Andy answered his phone:
Me: Today’s the pet show in kindergarten.
Me: (frantic, clearly he isn’t understanding the dire situation) Sam didn’t bring a pup. We forgot this morning.
Me: (tears brimming) Can you take one to him?
Me: He’s got to be so disappointed.
Him: Which one should I take?
Me: (sigh of relief; I won’t have to take off of work) Thank you. He decided on Brownie.
Him: I thought he chose Big Dog.
Me: You said it had to fit in his backpack.
Him: It’s not going in his backpack.
Me: (smiling) You’re a hero.
Him: No problem.
*Snap*Snap*Smash* I have these series of thoughts all of the time. One tiny thought leads to another and another. I’m reminded of someone and think I should send a card. I hear of something and consider making a meal. I’m led to pray. Yet too often my response isn’t one of urgency. The thoughts disintegrate before they are put into action and become a blessing.
Sam’s response inspires me to follow through:
“Thanks, Dad, the day is so much better now.”
I want to try harder to capture the action from *Snap*Snap*Smashes*. After all, I’m blessed in order to be a blessing.
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You are a blessing Ruth! Thanks for sharing! I had forgot those moments and believe me, we had them too. Sometimes I was substitute teaching or I was the mom at home without a car. You are a good mommy! Enjoy these years! Happy Slicing! 🙂
I think Andy is a blessing, too!
I love how you described this story with snap….snap….smash! Sometimes adding just the right details can really enhance a story. 🙂
Ruth, it's amazing how thoughts come and go so quickly. With our busy lives of balancing home, kids, work, blogs, etc., is it any wonder we can function at all? You do a wonderful job of managing it all and things work out for the best. You son won't remember that you forgot, but he will remember his joy of sharing. Thanks for sharing!
Do you remember how many times your brother “forgot” something so important (to him) and all those extra trips to school? Super mom to the rescue!!! This post made me cry…..for you, for Sam, and for those long ago feelings of wanting everything to be okay for your children. Mimi
I know that feeling you described beginning with “My blood ran cold.” Plus all the anguish of why didn't I remember, what can I do? I hate to say it, but there will be more of those days ahead. However, great solution, Andy is a hero. I loved the conversation (especially the side notes). Sam's response, priceless.
I really enjoyed this “snap, snap, smash” idea. I loved when you talked with Andy on what dog it was suppose to be. Did you ever imagine you'd be talking about something like that? Andy is a gem. He knew the whole background and ran with it. Glad Sam had a great Friday.
I know exactly how you felt. I've had many moments where I am sick to my stomach because I've just realized we forgot _____. So glad Andy was able to bring the pup in.
Oh. This was soo good, Ruth. I've found that writing internal small moments is hard. I really love how you used sound words for this! How did you think of that? Did you use a mentor text? And then you turned it into such a lovely, bigger idea.
Loved this, so glad you shared.
I was so relieved that it all worked out and realized that I had been holding my breath!
This is the second time today I have read this…I just like it. First of all, the title grabbed me. I had to know what you were talking about. And then, I was you. I knew exactly how you felt. There were many times I felt like I was a horrible mother because I forgot something–sometimes I feel like that as a teacher (remember Super Teacher?). You got it handled and now you move on. Snap Snap Smash.
Love it! I was sharing it with my college son tonight as I was talking to him about my blog. I am right there with you on the disintegrating thoughts. So often I feel I am to take action…and just forget until some time much later. Glad things worked out for your family today.
I loved how you described your moments as snap, snap, smash. I am going to remember that for the thousands of times I randomly blurt out something because of my snap, snap, smash moments. You are very lucky to have such a great husband who saves the day!
Ruth, I love how you used onomatopaeia to create the heart sounds which I am sure were ringing loudly in your ears this morning. Wow. What a powerful piece so logically, rhythmically, and beautifully written. Your husband may have worn the cape today in Sam's eyes, but you were lucky enough to wear Wonder Woman's boots and bustier :). (OK, that was silly but you get the point…) You remembered and you enlisted help to save the day. Your comeback line will reverberate in my heart too — I need to capture these opportunities and be the blessing for which I was created. Thanks for the reminder through your warm tale. (P.S. Also loved your conversations…)
I do love it when you include the conversations. I was waiting to see what would happen with this. Maybe Andy was just about to sit down at a meeting, or… Those things happen too. You shared that universal mom feeling we've all had, a sinking of 'oh, no, we forgot' & 'now what?' I like the others loved your 'snip snap splash'. It's definitely the plot line of what happens. thanks Ruth!
This post broke my heart and then warmed it back up as Andy came to the rescue. You and Andy make a great team! So glad Big Dog made it to school and that Sam's day was made.
That Andy remembered Sam had chosen Big Dog and then even made the exception for it not fitting into the backpack based on the circumstances is truly amazing. As amazing as you calling Andy in the first place.
I am in awe of all you do. You juggle so much life and manage to be an authentic YOU who is a blessing to so many people, in so many ways. I feel lucky to be one of those touched by you.
BTW- This slice was much cooler to read having met Andy. I could picture the way his mind might be working and I know I was holding my breath as I read that conversation. He did come out a hero. You two are a dynamic duo!
Your beginning with snap*snap*smash followed by description of your feelings made me hold my breath. I like happy endings. I don't even want to imagine the feelings involved if ending would have been different. Yet I know those feelings exist because we all make mistakes and that is just part of life.
@marika — no mentor text for this…although I do read a lot of Sharon Creech and Kate DiCamillo and love the sound of their words. I think one of them (or maybe neither) did something once with a character thinking — swoop, woosh — something like that, maybe? Anyway, I composed this slice out loud driving from one school to another. I liked the way the snap snap smash felt when I said it aloud. Just a little of the thinking behind the slice. 🙂
Ugh! I hate that feeling in the pit of your stomach. It was great the way you described the conversation with your husband, starting with “The Deal,” the waiting to see the outcome. And I felt my stomach untense as he finally agreed to bring Big Dog. O.K. the interviews was way to cute also!
I love the blankness of Andy's responses. He doesn't get it, really, but at the same time it seems clear that he's totally going to go along with it regardless of whether or not he gets it … because it means something to you and means something to Sam. Lovely, lovely, lovely.
I, too, wish I could hang onto my snap-snap-smash thoughts and turn more of them to action.
The whole thing was beautiful. I loved that you understand that you are blessed so that you can be a blessing.