Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Scenes from Mr. Mom: Day Four (I forgot my kids!)

At the conclusion of my fourth back to back meeting I looked at my watch and dashed off like the White Rabbit shouting, "I'm late, I'm late!" I ran out the gate, down the street, and past the guard at the academy and continue huffing up the drive. I see my children about to be led into the holding area for delinquent parents. I flap my arms like a crazed man... she sees me, and leaves my children un-contained. 

I made it. Just. Barely.

Holding Sterling's hand with the two bigs behind me, we cross the street, walking across the speed bump of course (Sterling insisted), back through the gate, and into the safe confines of my office. My three kids are crammed into two seats as I pack my bag, lock the door, and turn to exit.

Now, a parent that we've been trying to track down for a week decides to make an entrance. I usher my three kids off to a trusted teacher, and into yet another meeting I descend. 

We solve the issues of the world, well, just delay them really... and then the guard is reminding me that I must move my car [NOW] or it will be locked in for the night. This is my cue that the day is ended. Me and the kids high tail it to the car, and I make tracks home.

We are late. It is 4:30 and the Sports Banquet is at 6:00. No, Aleksandra tells me it has been moved to 7:00. Great! Maybe she is wrong... but I'm going to assume she's right. She wants to bake brownies, shower, paint her nails, and put on a nice dress. I honestly don't see how she can get it all done, but I'm intrigued. I tell her to go for it. She showers and comes down to begin her mixing. I light the oven for her and I stand back to look at her. She surprises me as I recognize that she is making giant steps in her life... right in front of me.

Meanwhile, I have discovered that the bunk beds I've ordered were installed in the wrong room. Fabulous. Leaving on my bow-tie and dress clothes... I get out my drill, disassemble, move, and re-assemble the beds. My shirt tail is out... and it remained out for the duration of the night. So be it. This is life... unfiltered. 

I walk into the kitchen... and miracle of miracles, there is my beautiful daughter, hair and nails done, in her mother's high heels, dress on, icing her blonde brownies... all from scratch. I must say that I am in awe of her, and of my wife, for training her so well. They even tasted great.

I've hollered at Caleb, reminding him that he is in charge of dinner for himself and his decade younger sister as Aleksandra and I spirit away to the Sports Banquet. He has to cook their dinner, and take care of her while we're away. I am shocked for the second time in the night as he comes to the kitchen, fires up the store, and makes his specialty, grilled cheese sandwiches. I stand back and observe my two children at work in the kitchen. 

Perhaps these humans will be able to make it in the world on their own someday? I feel hopeful! I appreciate my wife in this moment, and think maybe we've done a few things right? Maybe it's just dumb luck, or more likely, God is laughing at our ineptitude and having mercy on us.

Aleksandra turns to me with the finished product. 

Walking into the little chapel at CAG where we'll have our sports awards, I tell Aleksandra that I am honored to walk in beside her. She is beautiful, and strong, and capable. She receives recognition for her participation in soccer and her undefeated season in basketball. This is a big deal. I know she'll remember this night forever. 

Her Soccer Team
Aleksandra's Undefeated Basketball Team
By chance I make a professional contact I've wanted to make for two years. He is here, he is walking around by himself, and I feel confident enough to speak to him. To my surprise and delight, it goes great. We hit it off! We find out we know the same people back in my hometown. Crazy! God... you've got this.

We sneak out at intermission. We don't want to stay for the high school awards... and I am worried that Caleb might have Sterling duct taped to a chair shooting nerf darts at her by now. 

Arriving at home, I find Caleb and Sterling have eaten the leftover chocolate from the brownie frosting. She is running around barefoot and feral, but unharmed. Aleksandra helps her shower and prepare for bed. We Skype Kellie briefly while Caleb and I finish dishes, and we all tuck into bed early. 

Another day complete. Everyone fed, bathed, schooled, and growing up... I am a blessed man. I am thankful. My life may look pretty messy to the outsider, but I see nothing but beauty. 

Tomorrow has more appointments than I can possibly hit. I am scheduled to preach three chapels, conduct a 3 hour First Aid Training, and somehow make a ballet performance and a basketball game. I have no clue how it will all work out. Oh, I can't forget to pick up the kids again... 

Even so, my head hits my pillow softly tonight. I'm thankful to have these few days to really see my kids. These days are a testament to my wife. She's raised these booger eaters into functional humans. 

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