That’s how long it took for me to succumb to the temptation of taking Zeke to school in my go-to comfy outfit. My black “work out” pants that have bleach or paint staining them and are frayed at the hem. I have yet to work out in them, but I imagine if I did they would be great because they are all kinds of stretchy. I wore a nursing tank-top with an ill-fitting jacket to hide the pit stains. My hair was up in a messy bun, not cuz I’m trendy, but because I slept with it in a bun.
Time just got away from me. I was up late doing laundry, preparing for a garage sale and making lunches. Then the morning was spent making food, being food, cleaning up the kitchen, and encouraging slow eaters. And that’s just breakfast. It continues as we care for our 5 month old while trying to keep our 2 year old and Kindergartner from getting distracted and wrestling or putting on super-hero costumes. All of my focus is on getting these tiny humans fed and presentable so we can go out the door. Yesterday, like so many days, this meant time for myself also went out the door. But, I told myself, I can always shower when I get home.
I had forgotten about the pact…
My mom is a naturally beautiful woman who took us to school in the same green sweatshirt and grey leggings from about 1987 until we stopped needing a ride. She still has the outfit, so if any of her grandkids ever need a ride to school, she’s ready. On the way to school one day I told her, as only a teenage girl can, something like, “As God is my witness, I will never dress like that taking my kids to school!” As a teenager I really identified with the character of Scarlet O’Hara.
I was too busy being a brat at the time to notice the look she gave me. Upon reflection, I see it now. It was the look of wisdom, born of self sacrifice and prioritizing. And she knew then that I would someday be in her shoes.
So even when Zeke says, “I think you forgot to change out of your P.J.’s”, I can smile. Assured in the knowledge that I did what matters most and took care of my kiddos. Because my mom showed me what it means to love others above yourself, even when the others deserve to be pinched.