S is for Surprise

I had news to share with Michael about a home improvement project. I had made phone calls and gotten some estimates. I wanted his attention. I wanted to brainstorm.

He gave me his attention. He put on his Project Manager cap and told me about things called budgets and timelines and needing a plan and said, “I don’t want to tell you no but…”

But yeah, he was telling me no.

He is right about budgets and planning but we don’t really do budgets and planning very well. As a couple, we want to be planners, yet our best moments, our best decisions have not come from plans. Our best decisions came to us more whimsically, impulsively.

Being told no along with being told to be practical makes me cranky. Being cranky leads not to brainstorming but to brewing up another sort of storm involving profanities and colorful histories about how he did this and she didn’t do that.

And here is why I am telling you all this.

Once Michael and I had calmed down enough to hug it out, I went up the stairs to start bedtime and discovered three girls on their bed reading books together.

“We just finished,” Melisandra said.

It had been bedtime when the bickering started. And my daughters knew this and decided on their own to ignore their parents and keep the nightly schedule with brushing their teeth and putting on pajamas and picking up their toys. Melisandra, the oldest, had taken charge.

Surprise! They were ready for bed without any of the usual reminding or cajoling or arm-twisting. Isn’t that something when your kids show you what they know how to do?

I may not know how to stick to a budget or plan farther than the day ahead but seeing our daughters reading together told me we are doing something right.

I tucked them in their beds and said thanks again and again. Thanks for taking care of each other, for brushing your teeth, for sharing stories. Thank you. Thank you.

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