Monday, April 21, 2008

The Small Stuff

Yesterday in the early morning we drove to Boston. It was very exciting. Liam had tickets to the Big Apple Circus, and he was to be escorted by none other than the very famous and loved Auntie Stephie. It was a beautiful birthday gift that she gave him, this little date to the circus, to watch the acrobats and eat terrible, delicious junk. Meanwhile, Aoife and I had plans to rendevous with an old friend of mine and her two year old, and Greg carried on to his brother's house and went for a pre-marathon run with our sister in law, Lisa. Such fun.
Everything went swimmingly. Liam and Greg took the T in, met Steph, and several hours later Aoife and I took the T in and fetched Liam at Park Street station. Then we hopped on the red line out to Davis Square and walked to Uncle David and Auntie Lisa's house. Played for an hour, and T'd it home (I agree. there was too much riding of the T in this scenario, but the kids think it is SO cool). Then Greg and I met some old friends for dinner while Nana and Poppy put the kids to bed.
Today, we watched the marathon, an old tradition from my childhood which made my heart swell: standing on the curb just past the halfway point, screaming until we were hoarse for the wheelchairs, elite runners, and the everybody-else who ran past. Included in the latter category was our best and lovely Auntie Lisa, who completed this most-difficult Boston marathon in a mere 4 hours and 25 minutes, hurrah, and was looking sleek as she ran past us, stopping for hugs and kisses and congratulations.
After Lisa had finished and Greg and his mom had taken the T back to Wellesley to meet us, we headed home. Two long hours in the car through pretty heavy traffic on the pike, up the wooded driveway to the enclave we call home, and I walked into the kitchen and heard a strange humming noise.
The freezer door was open. Wide, wide open.
We have this problem sometimes where if you slam the fridge door, the freezer door pops open. Apparently this happened on our way out the door yesterday morning.
Every single item in the freezer was completely thawed and close to warm in temperature. The motor was humming loudly in vain, trying to keep the food cold, probably costing us a hundred dollars in electricity. That whole time, for all those T rides, for the circus, and the visiting, and the dinner, and the marathon, the door had been open.
Greg went out to the garage and got a few big garbage bags, doubled them up. Into the bag went everything. Blueberries, vegetables, bagels, bread, pie crusts, and corn. Bananas that were to be for bread, raspberries from last year's garden, and some leftover icing from Liam's birthday. There were 4 containers of ice cream, 3 of them unopened and brand new. Sorbet. Two organic, free range, expensive chicken breasts. Waffles. Leftovers.
Everything went into the bag.
There was one container of ice cream that had actually somehow tipped out onto the floor. It was a pink, oozy, gooey, partially dried mess on the floor. Greg scraped it up with a spatula. Washed the floor with wet towels and soap. Sealed up the garbage bag, and put it into the garage.
Meanwhile, I calmly prepared dinner for the kids. They played outside on the grass with Greg's mom.
Because you know what?
It gets way worse than losing a freezer full of food because the door accidentally popped open yesterday morning. We can just bag up that food and feel awful that it was wasted, but really not that awful... and when the electric bill comes I will sigh, and we won't order any pizza that week or the next, but we will just pay it, and move on.
This one we can manage. And I can just imagine this same thing happening to me 6 years ago, and me freaking out, and crying, and just feeling so upset about all the wasted food, and wasted money, and just being so upset about this little, dumb, solvable problem. But now?
So thanks, Charlotte. You turned what could have been a really shitty evening into one that just simply took about 17 minutes longer than we thought it would. I feel badly about the food, and I do hope I don't sound smug about having had to waste all of that, and the electricity, too, because truly it does make me cringe. But it doesn't need to make me despair.
And I am a teeny bit especially disappointed about the 4 containers of ice cream, because I do have to go without my ice cream tonight.
But you know how people do kind of get really totally out of control upset about little solvable things like this? It's just kind of peaceful to just be able to not freak out about the small stuff. Because it's just not worth it.


Hennifer said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I feel like I want to tell you that with just about every entry. I do try to take this to heart, and I cherish all the opportunties I get to hear it from you again. It is hard, this learning to be mindful. I don't have it perfected quite yet but I am trying, for me, for my kids, and for all of you wonderful mothers and all your beautiful children!

Charlotte's Mama said...

Thanks, Hennifer...
That is nice to hear. Some of the blogs I read get about 434 comments per post, so sometimes I wonder if anyone's reading and if anyone cares...
so yeah,
You're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome... and thank you for giving me a reason to write (besides free therapy).

erik said...

My attitude of the "small stuff" has changed for reasons similiar to yours - but I still have those moments where I forget about the past and the "little but seems huge stessful thing" takes over... Thank you for posting your feelings, you are right in everything you said. My wife could not have recommended a more appropriate post for me to read (thank you Laura).