The morning began great. Jen's alarm went off at 5:00 a.m., Brooklyn jumped on the bed and barraged me with Golden Retriever hugs (a/k/a smooches from my pooches), and I didn't have to put on a suit. At my job, the combination of Casual Fridays and me not having to be in court on a Friday is rarer than a Necci being told they are tall. I was also looking to the start of an early weekend. Friday night was the big UConn v. Iowa State football game at the Rent and Saturday was going to be a big family party.
After getting ready for work and handling the manly duty of deciding which ruffly shirt I should put my daughter in, I headed downstairs to pack Abby up for daycare, or as I affectionally call it, school. As I had been told by the Jeneral (fantastic nickname if you are married to someone named Jen who is as obsessive compulsive about neatness and list making as a world war 2 era drill sergeant) the night before, I dressed Abby in a great outfit, packed a backup outfit, and put her fleece on. I then sat her down in her car seat... oh wait, no I didn't because there was no car seat in the house. Or in the garage. Or in my car. Turns out the car seat was somewhere in North Central Connecticut, either in the car at Jen's school or trying to board a plane at our local international airport. We'll probably never know.
Because this was a big day at work and one of the few times I get to spend more than a couple of hours at my desk answering emails and voicemails, I have to admit that my first reactions were: a) confusion; b) frustration; and, c) anger. To be fair, those were probably my first, second, and third reactions, and I have to be honest that I am glad that the grandmother living with my neighbor across the street really only speaks Polish, because the words that were echoing in my garage should not be heard east of the Rhine River.
My wife doesn't know this, but I had a premonition about a similar event about a week ago. Not really a premonition, but an actual experience that almost led to me making an angry call to her school before I ultimately found the car seat in the foyer. Boy, that would have been a "foot in the mouth" moment! Fortunately for me, I got to make that call this morning!
When I called, emailed, texted, smoke screened, and faxed Jen about the situation, I tried not to be angry. It's clear that she didn't mean to leave me in a bind. Or did she? That would be really twisted, so I'll go with it being accidental. It was similar to when you're at a restaurant and you're frustrated with the service. You try to make a point to the waiter or manager without the end result being saliva or other substances put into your food. I know who takes care of me and my family, and while I don't think Jen would do anything gross to Abby's food, she might do it to Brooklyn's delicious Eukanuba Adult Breed mix just to spite me. (Eukanuba is a proud sponsor of "The Learning Passion", where we not only teach human lessons, but pet lessons as well.) That's probably not true either, but I digress. I won't bore you with what happens next, because the complaining part is more fun that the resolving issues part, but things did work out in a way that allowed me to take care of some things at work without needing the car seat.
That last sentence is what I want to focus on in this post. I've been told that this blog always has a TGIF learning moment, and it is Friday, so here is mine. Things work out when you are willing to take the necessary steps to resolve a problem. In most circumstances, life is not about the ideal situations we are put in. It's great when that happens, but the vast majority of our lives are dictated by the choices we make.
To quote one of the greatest movies of all time, The Shawshank Redemption (FYI, I also highly recommend reading the short story the movie is based on, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, which is found in Steven King's novella Four Seasons. Great book that includes short stories that the movies Apt Pupil and Stand By Me are also based on), "Get busy living, or get busy dying." Issues or problems are not resolved by worrying about them. They are resolved by analyzing them, reviewing your options in a quick, but thorough manner, and then taking direct and deliberate actions. One of the redeeming qualities of law school is the way it teaches you to how to think in stressful or pressure filled situations. Having fantastic parents that tell you that you can do anything also helps, and is also less expensive than law school, so I highly recommend them. I also recommend challenging your kids in a way that encourages them to try difficult things when they know you are there for support.
It also does not hurt to have a partner that you completely trust and that you know will always support you unconditionally. It's easy to take unpopular or unusual positions when you know no matter what, someone is in your corner. It's also easy not to get frustrated by an accident when you know it just as easily could have been you, and that you would also have been forgiven (albeit after a few hours of ridicule.)
In closing, I appreciate you spending some time reading this post. It's been fun writing something that does not have to be supported by a ridiculously structured statute or by an opinion that was written by a judge who's been dead for 75 years. I hope that you all continue to read Jen's blog and also that you encourage your friends to do the same. She is passionate about the things she loves like reading, her dog, her daughter, and her fantastically understanding husband. I think that passion comes through in this blog.
Now let's get back to talking about that ridiculously amazing NorCal trip, which is much more entertaining to read than this diatribe. I promise that if I am left home in this type of situation again, there will be a 3000 word dictation describing the ways the Mets can improve both their play on the field and their uniforms (Shout out to my boys at MetsBlog.com and MetsPolice.com.)