I couldn’t fall asleep the other night. I had a disagreement with my boss over some scheduling issues. Normally it wouldn’t have been a big deal, but I’ve been taking a medication that is messing with my hormones and I dealt with the situation as maturely as a fifteen-year-old girl with PMS. Sigh. I hate it when I know I was the one who was wrong. Actually, I’m glad I know. I just wish I wasn’t. Anyway, there I was lying in bed at 2am knowing that we had a busy day the next day—kickboxing, Cub Scout Pinewood Derby, birthday party at the bowling alley, and baseball signups. I was annoyed that the
fight discussion had happened in the first place, angry at myself for handling it badly, at frustrated that it was still on my mind, and even more frustrated that it was keeping me awake.
Then, for some reason, I thought about the moments I spent with my son James before I had left for work that night. He was trying to sneak up on me—and being as subtle as only a six year old boy can be. I whirled around and grabbed him and started tickling his belly. James is absurdly ticklish and has the most infectious laugh I’ve ever heard. We wrestled and tickled for a few minutes and then I dusted myself off, said goodnight and went to work.
I felt myself calming down while I was thinking about that moment. It was the first thing that had worked all night—I had tried reading, surfing the web, taking deep breaths. Nothing had worked until I started thinking about James and his laugh. I began a mental slide show that continued to calm me down until I fell asleep.
|I thought about every day stuff like making pizza with my boys.|
|And watching James play with Sammy, the most patient cat in the universe.|
|And I thought about special occasions like when Owen made his First Communion.|
|Or when James lost his first tooth center stage at his preschool graduation.|
|And the day James was baptized. I can't believe it was six years ago.|
|I thought about the boys acting like monkeys at The National Zoo.|
|And how serious Owen looks when he's creating something.|
|And my favorite Halloween.|
|And my other favorite Halloween.|
|It's so hard to choose!|
In my stress and anger and frustration, I allowed myself to forget about the things that are really important things in my life. No, my schedule isn’t exactly what I’d like it to be. But I’ve met very few people who have the work life of their dreams—it is work after all. So I might have to work a few more night shifts than I’d like. But before I go, I’m going to be sure make the moments we have together count.