The Perfecting of an Imperfect Day

Have you ever had something like this happen to you?
I am starting what seems to be an endless day of errands and activities. The day itself is miserable. Gloominess seems to hang off of every street pole and tree branch.
I am already tired and it’s not even 9:00am. But…I know what will fix it. A nice cup of coffee. My mouth has been ready for it since I pulled out of my driveway. I like my coffee sweet and creamy. I can almost feel it running down through my fingers and toes. I pull up to the drive-thru menu. I ask for a small coffee with 3 Splenda and 2 creams. I give the drive-thru girl a hopeful smile and drive away with my hot coffee in hand. It isn’t until that I am out on the main drag again that I take a sip. Then disaster! It’s BLACK!
Its bitterness settles in the back of my throat. I don’t have time to go back and complain, but that doesn’t keep me from grumbling all the same. As I race to the next event mumbling things like “not paying attention,” where is the work ethic today?” and “black coffee, yuck,” my day seems to grow gloomier.
I hunch down in my seat and attach a permanent scowl to my face. I just hate it when things don’t turn out the way I want them to! Obviously, it was reasonable for me to expect what I had ordered. What wasn’t reasonable was how such a little thing could ruin my day and my attitude. Sadly, it has taken less than a messed up order to set me on the path of the grumpies.
Most of what causes my discontent is unrealistic expectations. I truly believe that those cause most of the issues in every part of our lives. It even creeps into our homeschool.
When we brought Josiah home from public school, I was ready to take on the world. I researched. I read. I planned. I visited the Teacher’s Supply Store (the happiest place on earth). I would succeed where Josiah’s teachers had failed. I was a kindergarten teacher. I had faced multiple 5 and 6 year-olds and won.
Our homeschool would be one of reflection. One of peace. Josiah would learn to speak fluent Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. He would learn to play the guitar and the piano. He would be able to identify a variety of insect species, name solar systems and read Latin.
Can I tell you that I spent most of the first few years frustrated and disappointed? And ashamed. Utterly ashamed. Josiah could barely read. He couldn’t remember his math facts. It seemed like I was swimming upstream. And I can’t swim!
Don’t even ask me about my house. Everything I read and saw seemed to point and my lack. Here were these wonderfully organized homeschool mamas. Johnny was completing a course in German. And he was 3! Tommy took first place at the Homeschool Science Fair and Robby was not only on the swim team, but he played hockey, was in hip hop dance and played the Oboe.
I felt like our best homeschool subject was lunch. I could do that!
God really began to work on me. What were my goals in this? Why was I comparing and emulating others? I had a different skill set. Josiah was a different learner. I needed to use what was in my hands. And trust that God had a better way for us than the path I was trying to create on my own.
True Story. I doodle to relax. Try finding something to do that helps you refocus. And have fun!
First of all, my husband and I knew that our main goal was that Josiah grow into a Godly man. That he would be able to provide for a family. That he would be responsible and kind. Then I started to school according to his interests and strengths. I found games to play. We made salt dough maps. We cooked. We read and read and read. We listened to classical music on YouTube and watched documentaries about ocean life on Netflix. When he
was into Indiana Jones we studied archaeology and ancient cultures. We went to the library once a week. When he decided he wanted to be a meteorologist, we studied weather for months. I let go some of my own perfectionist tendencies and let him assist me with household responsibilities.
Most of all, I learned not to wish away the days.  I learned to embrace the imperfection of our day. I learned to make the days our own.
Don’t get me wrong…I am still learning. I am constantly reminding myself to just ‘let it go.’ Some days the best I can do is to have us pile into bed with
Tom Sawyer and a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Those days of having Josiah assist with household chores has paid off. Remember that little one folding all of
those dish towels? Josiah is now responsible for most of the household’s laundry. Remember teaching that little one to measure flour? Josiah fixes
pancakes for the household once a month. He pumps my gas. Volunteers at the Nursing Home. He is on the swim team and he IS READING.
He is not the bookworm I would like him to be, but we rejoice in his victories.
I want to end with an ironic story. I have written and rewritten this particular article not once, not twice, but three times! The first time I accidently closed out it out and told it not to save. The second time, my computer lost it…this just after I had promised to have it completed as quickly as I could.
My first response was to crawl up in a fetal position and inhale large quantities of chocolate. I did a bit of snapping at Josiah. He had the nerve to come and ask me something. Can you imagine!
Then I breathed a little bit and took a sip of my perfect sweet and creamy coffee and began again.
These days we have are precious. These kiddos God has given to us are even more so. Let’s go have one of those perfectly imperfect days.
Rebekah Teague is the mom to one highly imaginative and almost perfect son, Josiah. She is married to a pretty great guy who happens to be a pastor. She loves dangly earrings, reading big books and wearing flowers in her hair. Rebekah blogs at There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining.  

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