I sat down at my desk a little before 8 a.m. yesterday and immediately wanted to cry. I had about 25 things that needed to get done before I went to bed that night and within seconds of arriving at the office had about 25 more. Now, I’m not a crier. I never have been. There have been few times throughout my adult life when I was so mad, frustrated or overwhelmed that I was actually brought to tears. Yesterday was close to one of those days. In fact, I had so many things I had to accomplish, both personally and professionally, that I thought about just skipping my column this week. I really didn’t have much to write about anyway. I haven’t been to any new shops or boutiques lately, so what did I have to offer?
Instead, I just sat there. Sat there staring at my computer screen sipping my eleventeenth cup of coffee. (Remember, it was only 8 a.m.) Slowly, I realized that I couldn’t be the only one. I am not so self-involved as to believe that I’m the only working parent who is overwhelmed by both job and family duties. Logically, I knew that every day a million other parents get up and make it happen. So what if I had to blow dry my hair in the bathroom at work in exchange for making sure my kid got to school on time? That certainly isn’t the end of the world. Take a breath, make a list (I adore making lists) and take it one step at a time.
Later that day, after having tackled some of my things, I started thinking about the previous weekend. It wasn’t an exciting weekend full of shopping and events and late nights out with friends. It was quiet and uncomplicated. We woke up Saturday morning and decided that instead of spending our day running our usual errands to Lowes and H-E-B, we would simply go for a drive. No particular destination in mind. Just a drive.
So, Jeb and I loaded up the kid and the dogs and hit the road. We started out in Riverside with a walk down to Pebble Beach. We ran into a kayak clinic (who knew that existed?) and decided it looked like a really fun time. It was too late to join this summer, but we put it on our “must-do” list for next summer. From there, we took off out the Cuero Highway. We explored neighborhoods and back roads, all the while talking, laughing and embarrassing Karara with, and I quote, “cringy” jokes. It was fun. It was simple. It was relaxing. It was electronics-free.
As I sat at my desk a few days later doing a mental survey of the chaos that is being a parent, I realized how thankful I was that we had taken that drive. Even when we are all together, we rarely take the time to just talk. Jeb and I may be new to this whole parenting thing, but we do recognize how important that is. Work and bills and obligations will always be there, but in just a few short years, our kid won’t. She will be an adult with her own chaos to worry about.
She might suddenly find herself sitting at a desk overwhelmed by her own list of things to do. But maybe in that moment, she will remember that Saturday when her parents made her get in the car and go for a drive to nowhere just so they could be together.