Keeping it Together… With a Little Help From Friends

You ever have those moments when you feel like all the other parents and their kids have it together more than your family does?

Yeah, I feel like that a lot. Daryl is particularly helpful in fostering that feeling in me. Last week, I was surfing Facebook while I waited for the carhop to bring out our food at Sonic. I’m sure all the got-it-together moms were serving their kids baked chicken with fresh broccoli and a side of fruit. The family probably even said a blessing and then talked about their day as they sat around the dinner table.

But anyway, I digress. I was surfing Facebook and I saw a post from Daryl’s TAG teacher that the tryouts for the third grade play were the next day. I hadn’t heard anything about a play, so I asked Daryl about it. He glanced up from his Nintendo DS to confirm he knew about it. Then he looked up again with a panicked look on his face.

Apparently, the teachers had sent home lines that they were supposed to memorize but Daryl had lost his and forgotten to ask for another one. This started a marathon of phone calls and text messages as I scrambled to find someone with a copy of the lines.

First call went to his teacher, who didn’t have them at home with her. She checked with the other teacher while I called Daryl’s best friend’s mom. I think I might have gotten that poor boy in a bit of trouble because his parents also knew nothing about the play. Apparently Ian wasn’t interested in trying out so had failed to mention it.

Then I called another mother, who informed me that her daughter had left her copy (presumably after memorizing the lines well enough) at Applebee’s. She suggested yet another mom and gave me her number. Eventually two different moms took photos and emailed them to me. Then it was just a matter of retyping them so I could print and helping my son speed memorize right before bedtime.

That was last week. This week, about 8:00 on a busy evening, he suddenly remembered that he had a “products of the rain forest” checklist due the next day. He had somehow made it home without a copy of the checklist. I texted the two moms I knew in the class and managed to get a copy from each of them after Daryl went to bed.

I then roused him early in the morning so we could rummage through our spices and pantry and bathroom cabinets to find all the items that had components originating in the rain forest. The first thing he said when he saw the checklist was “but this is Aaron’s paper!”

Well, yes, son. When you wait until bedtime the night before, it’s highly likely that all the other kids have already filled theirs out. So if you are fortunate enough to get a copy, you’ll have to deal with his name already on it. Here’s a big fat red grease pencil. If you make your check marks with it, you’ll cover up his.

It was bad enough that I had to go begging for the checklist. What was even worse was to see the variety of fruits and vegetables that she had in her kitchen, compared to what I had. It was almost enough to make me find the whiteout so I could remove the evidence of my inadequacy.

I keep telling myself that we are all struggling to keep it together. That other families are just as messed up as ours. I’m still waiting for that text message asking for the homework assignment though. Just one would make me feel good.

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