Writing

Turtles and whirlwinds

kcpattishea / 18 May, 17 /

19139291This morning I got up and waved goodbye to Wood and Margaret. Sibling weekend at K-State. Since the Winter Weather Watch was predicting 8-12” of snow, Wood drove and hid out in a Starbuck’s catching up on work while the Dickinson sisters ate lunch and went bowling.

Home alone. The only footsteps? Mine.

In my imagination, the day was going to be spent reading, horizontally, Oreos for lunch and ice cream for dinner.

What I actually did with my day? Sorted through paperwork. Did higher math trying to figure out the Royal’s season tickets, split among five families, what they owed and trying to schedule a time for all to sit down and divvy up the games. Two loads of laundry. Paid four bills. Took a bunch of little scraps of paper that had dates/times on them and put them on the calendar. Got on facebook. Took out the trash. The recycling. Went to the grocery store. Cleaned up the kitchen. Emptied the dishwasher. Did a snow dance. Optimistic about a three day weekend…..teacher translation: a snow day. And an oil change.

I’m just not good at sitting still. My good friend, Cheryl who keeps my unruly locks shorn, laughs because I don’t even sit in the chair long enough to have my hair blown dry. Nope. Enough sitting for me. The microwave is too slow for me. The 65 mph speed limit is way too slow. And I have a number of tickets to prove that.

Maybe it’s the 8-kid thing. So many snap decisions — “Can I have a slumber party?” Can you drive me and my thirteen closest friends to the movies?” “I need 26 cupcakes tomorrow.” “Where’s my library book, other shoe, homework, diorama.”  Wood and I used to laugh that we could buy a car in the same amount of time it took other people to decide a medium or a small Coke in the McDonald’s line. Apoplectic if the woman ahead of me in the grocery line decides, when it comes time to pay, she has forgotten to get a 1 pound package of shaved ham, Gulden’s mustard and a carton of Breyer’s mint chocolate chip. In the classroom, being ready for anything, ready to change course when the kids aren’t tracking (that can be determined by how many are snoring) I need a  light-on-my-feet, let’s-go-a-different-direction mentality that doesn’t lend itself to “slow”. Seems like I have spent a good deal of my life toe tapping. Sort of sitting in neutral, humming.

Conversely, I have one kid who didn’t get any of the genetic markers for this syndrome. We used to laugh that she had one speed. S.L.O.W.  She was the last one finished at every single meal. She was the kid who got left in the hotel bathroom while the rest of us went to breakfast, only to be escorted to us by the hotel maid. Ooops. In fact, she had a pet turtle! Meghan is a senior this year, majoring in Social Work at K-State. For her and her chosen path, slow is good. Patient is good. Listening with a gentle ear is good. Not an impulsive bone in her body.  Perfectly suited to her chosen career.  She makes lists, checking them twice.  Rarely multi-tasks.  A happy kid.  Content with her pace.

Funny how we wind up right where we belong. How we can mesh who we are with what we do.

If we all were like me, we’d all be crashing into each other with hair standing on end, blood pressure close to four digits, shirt untucked, in track shoes.

About the Author