The mister and I are both sticklers for commitment. In our marriage, this is good. As parents, this is also good. Alas, the goodness can be turned to the Dark Side. Our personal desire to honor our commitments sometimes becomes a lack of flexibility. Having failed to enter a commitment to help out at our church with preparations for catering a breakfast tomorrow, there was an "Uh-oh!" moment when the reminder text arrived. The already full To-Do List of obligations great and small loomed large. Still. A promise is a promise. Right?
Last night, the one night of the week when we are supposedly at home, I was out until 9:00 picking up a prescription left until the last minute and a book (that Middle Child faithfully warned me she needed a week in advance) because I knew there wouldn't be time to do it this morning. (It's not a good sign when the teenagers are having to remind Mom of tasks.) Crawling out of bed this morning, feeling far from rested, it was all-too-soon time to load children and serving pieces into the car. Travelling on autopilot, the Mom Mobile arrived in a parking space at the church well before 8:00 a.m. when the coffee shop opens.
I wandered back into the offices where I interrupted Walker's Quiet Time. (She's flexible.) She offered a much-needed cup of coffee. We chatted a bit about the bizarre visions in her day's Bible reading, caught up on the news since yesterday, and then she shepherded me back to the coffee shop. Dropping off the various items to serve the planned meal, I contemplated the list of things not getting done at home. Then it happened. All the years of dependability went spiralling down the drain with the rare decision to simply beg off today. There was a real sense of relief in heading home even with the administrative mountain awaiting my attention.
So. Should I have left the coffee shop hanging? No. Should I have agreed to be at the coffee shop today? No. Was it worth it to be unreliable today? Well. Yeah. Because this is not a pattern of behavior, but it a necessary recognition of my own limitations. More. It meant that the rest of the week will not be characterized by a nasty case of Catch-up.