It is an interesting time we live in. I’m not panicking, just trying to figure everything out. No one knows what the future will bring. My mom said she feels like it is 9/11 all over again and that she’s having trouble grasping the situation. Me, too. I remember that day and those following. It was like being in a fog. Just shocked. This, though, is different. Nothing has really happened in our country. It feels like we are toddlers overreacting to some imagined fear. Only it isn’t imagined. We are reacting with fear to a possibility. We are reacting instinctively and going into survival mode. Hunting at Walmart, my mom said.
Growing up I was always taught to have a supply of food and necessities on hand. A month or a year- whatever you could afford and store. It always looked extreme to those who weren’t taught that. Our church leaders taught it for years. I tried to do the best I could, I think. I usually had enough on hand to last for a month or so. The parable of the ten virgins comes to mind.
Yesterday I asked Alex to go to the store down where he works and see if supplies were low there. There is still food on the shelves, so I am not worried, but I needed my usual groceries and some stuff to supplement my storage. We were in luck. He was able to get everything on my list. When people are saying there is nothing on the shelves the only thing that was really out that I seen is toilet paper, cleaning supplies and soap/sanitizer. The stores aren’t empty yet. No one has gotten desperate enough. If there isn’t exactly what they want then they just do without. It will be in stock later. We haven’t reached desperation stage yet and I hope we never do.
We did do normal stuff yesterday. It was beautiful weather and so the little kids and I went outside to sit and play in the sun. There is still a lot of snow on the ground here and it is frustrating but it is what it is. It was marvelous to be outside and not freezing. The kids rode their bikes around the block and had fun together.
After school my kids went to their friend’s house. I have been friends with the girl’s mom since before she was born. We were pregnant at the same time and had our babies two days apart. I normally would have just gone to pick them up real quick and headed to the store to get the salad stuff I needed for the family get together last night but I had a feeling to change the order of my errands. I went to the store and then headed to my friends. The kids were being loud and after knocking several times I let myself in. I hope she doesn’t minds. I would be fine if she did the same. I found her in the kitchen and there were kids everywhere. My kids. Haha. Okay, just three of mine and two of hers. And a kitchen full of dirty dishes. She has been sick lately and her one year old daughter has been clingy and that makes for a really hard time getting things done. I know because I am in that situation pretty much every single day. I told her that we are doing dishes, that I am washing her dishes, right now. The usual, “oh, don’t worry about it, I got it,” excuses every single woman lies about every time someone offers to help came spilling out. I have learned that you ignore it and roll your sleeves up and get to work. This is true in all cases. People have done it to me and it has been a life saver. We got it done quickly and then I had to leave.
I don’t write this experience to toot my own horn. Far from it. God gave me the opportunity to help so he gets the credit. I felt the prompting from the Spirit to alter my schedule. Alex was home holding my sleeping baby so I could help my friend without worrying about taking care of my kids. I heeded the prompting to insist and ignore the excuses. I am so grateful that I was able to have the chance to help someone after all the times others have helped me. I always feel guilty, as I am sure most women do, that we are indebted to someone when they render service to us. I don’t think that feeling ever goes away. But when we are able to help someone and get that warm fuzzy feeling, for lack of a better term, we feel like we paid a small fraction of that debt, paid it forward in a sense. I am grateful that I had to opportunity to set an example for my children. Lauren was able to watch the baby so we could get more done. I don’t take the opportunity to help as much as I should because I am busy worrying about my family and life so I am grateful when something comes up that I can do.
That experience yesterday was in stark contrast to my attitude later that night, I am afraid. I am human and I am still learning. I have so, so much left to learn. We went to a family function that night and I didn’t handle it well. I don’t know how to handle it, actually. I can’t give any details and it most likely isn’t what you think. I have figured that it is my trial and I don’t know how to overcome it. I have been dealing with it for years and years and I am still reacting the same way and it isn’t good. It is mostly an attitude that I need to correct but it is so hard!
I won’t end on such a sour note. Last night as we were driving home the kids in the back of the van started to sing The Rattlin’ Bog. It is a fun song and pretty soon we all joined in. For years we didn’t have a radio in our car (the speakers blew out owing to an unfortunate incident) and so we’ve had to make our own music, so to speak. The van we have now has a radio and speakers that work but I rarely turn it on because I am used to not having it. It was a half an hour drive home and we came up with all the old songs and taught the kids a couple new ones. Just the little kid songs like BINGO, The Ants Go Marching, This Old Man, etc. We all had fun singing and then as we entered town I told the kids to close their eyes and I tried to confuse them driving all around town to see if they could guess where we were. Benjamin was either cheating or he really knows the town. If he wasn’t cheating then it is creepy how well he knew where we were. It was a fun end to the day.