Tag Archives: time

Stranded in an airport . . .

Sometimes you have the best plans, an exact schedule, and you are absolutely certain that things will be perfect. But perfection isn’t easy to come by. Especially when you’re taking your first international flight to London, UK.

The whirlwind of life has swept through our family and our business over the last few months, leaving me exhausted. I had a summer full of broken arms, trips to the zoo, a tonsillectomy, author events, farmer’s markets,  promotion, and learning about running an independent children’s publishing house.

Our fall has started, and nothing has slowed down. School started, more author events, book events, story times, plus four new book releases (so far), a new issue of our magazine, Stinkwaves, and more promotion, more learning, more chaos.

Now, finally, a break. A trip to London! The first for both my husband and me. Ah, I can smell the tea, taste the scones, hear the beautiful accents. Yet, here I am . . . for the second day, in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. No Big Ben. No tea. Only a soggy sandwich and luke-warm tea for dinner.

This is our third attempt at catching a flight, and if we don’t make this one, or it is delayed, I may have a bit of a tantrum. There’s been mechanical problems, weather issues, runway construction, along with other small things that have lead to the delay. But I know that once we get there, even though there will still be any number of hiccups, it will be worth the wait.

Just like running our publishing house, with each new release comes a thousand and one bumps in the road. There are quarrels about editing and design, misprinted books, and beta feedback that isn’t what you thought it would be, which bring about rewrites, recoloring, and complete redo’s. Nothing ever goes as expected.

Just like running a family. You can plan all you want, but sometimes you’re going to have a 30-minute meltdown about socks. There will be broken bones and hurt feelings. You may never be “on time,” but you will also have silly dances, amazing new books, and unexpected smiles. The highs outweigh the lows, and we keep moving forward. We keep making plans, only to find that they will change. And eventually we realize that those changes were actually better.

So my husband and I will wait five more hours (on top of the five we’ve already waited) to hopefully catch a flight to London. We will get there and I will be a part of my friend’s wedding. We will see things that we’ve only read about or seen in pictures. We will eat scones and drink tea, and it will be AMAZING. Our time in London will be special because it is an adventure, everything that neither of us planned it to be.

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Because sometimes . . .

Because sometimes you wake up with a sore throat, an AWFUL attitude, and something growing on your face that looks like a second chin.

Because sometimes you just want to crawl into a hole for the next 3-5 business days, but there are still lunches to make, boo-boos to kiss, hair to brush…the list never ends.

Because sometimes the Wild Kratts’ Monkey Mayhem game is the hardest thing in the entire world, and Chris and Martin should crawl into a hole.

WildKratts

Disclaimer: I’m really quite fond of the Wild Kratts. Their TV show and most of their games are wonderful. It’s just that my almost four-year-old isn’t quite ready for this game, and it is the ONLY one that he wants to play.

Time

My daughter is obsessed with time. She is forever asking “What time is it?” Then, hardly a minute later, “What time is it now?” We even bought her a watch, to help with her curiosity about time…but since she’s still working on her numbers, and working on telling time on her digital princess watch, it’s much easier for her to just ask mom.

Today, though, I started to ask myself if her obsession with time is merely a reflection of mine?

I, mom, am constantly setting the (theoretical) timer. “In five minutes, it will be your brother’s turn.”  “In ten minutes, it will be time for bed.” “Five more minutes of TV and that’s it!” Or at the park, there is the countdown until it is time to leave.

The “countdown” technique is awesome because it slowly prepares them for something unpleasant that is fast approaching. Then there’s time to share, time for bed, and time to go home. Time to “share” seems to cause the most battles. Even time to go home usually plays out better. But sharing?

But then time comes back into play when it is time for an appointment:  “Come on guys, we only have ten minutes until we have to be at the doctor’s office!” I usually find myself saying this when it’s at least at 15-20 minute drive to whichever doctor we’re going to today.

These are the hours and minutes in our day. And now that kindergarten is almost here, my five-year-old sponge understands that we also have days, and weeks, and months. Even years.

All of this time, time, time. But with so much to do, I swear most days it feels like I get nothing done.

Today, I wished that there was a way to slow down time. Not because I had so much to do (I did, but that’s nothing new), but because I realized that time was running out.

When I was pregnant, I was warned, time and time again, by many “seasoned” mothers, that time goes by SO fast. But I didn’t understand until today.

As I was watching my two kiddos paint together, it suddenly hit me that this season of their life (and ours) is so very short. Soon these little people will be big people. How crazy is that going to be? I will still be their Mom, yeah sure. But I won’t have magical healing kisses or be able to blow their minds with my ability to make a bubble out of chewing gum.

So for now, I set the timer to count the minutes, and spend my days living in the wonderful chaos, frustration, and beauty that is this gift of motherhood.

I guess it’s like the Shel Silverstein poem, How Many, How Much.

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How much time you have in a day? Depends on how you spend it.

And now, from an obsession with time to time for fun, my book review for this week is What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night: A Very Messy Adventure by Refe TumaSusan Tuma

DinosaursDidLastNight

This book is amazing! My kids read it over and over and over again. And I don’t mind one bit. The concept is pretty simple: all of those crazy things that happen around your house, be it a mess in the kitchen or art on the walls . . . the dinosaurs did it!

The pictures in this book are definitely the best part. Creators Refe and Susan Tuma have ingeniously used toy dinosaurs with real-life props to create photographs that are hilarious. There are tiny things to discover on every page that will have your kids giggling and pointing and taking the story far beyond the words on each page.

PS– as I was writing this, my son saw the cover picture, and immediately said that it was time to go to the library so we can check this book out again. A must-read, I think.