Pick Up the Cars and Try Again

My husband and I are musicians. And we’re parents. When we are onstage, we do our best to really be ON stage. But all our “backstage” experiences with our son (our little frog) deeply affect who we are as people, thus musicians. Recent insights: 

Epic fail today on practicing patience, elegance, and/or compassion.

We began our day by checking out of our well-appointed, fairly toddler-friendly hotel earlier than preferred (to avoid traffic in our next town). There were a few fragile moments in the van, so we didn't arrive in perfect spirits.

When new hotel told us our room would not be ready for an hour or two, I did not laugh and order a double Scotch. I stoically sat on the marble-floored lobby with Nigel to play with cars and trucks. Stupidly, I tried to check my email "while we played." When I looked up, Nigel was running with an empty luggage cart, headed right toward the big tropical fish tank. I screamed at him to stop, berated his father for not keeping a watchful eye, and intercepted collision with scorn.

Of course, Nigel burst into tears. "I just wanted to help and push the cart."

Blerg. Once again, my impatience and imbalance of self entitlement cause immediate discomfort for everybody. I would be lying if I didn't wish that I were innately more like my friend Laura, who would have genuinely laughed about it all, without even TRYING to summon a bright perspective. But I am Shannon, and this means I get bent out of shape about stupid shit, and it isn't always easy or natural to laugh in the face of minor inconvenience (but if the chips are REALLY down, I shine).

The only thing to do: pick up the cars and try again. Good thing we have a sturdy bag with a zipper...

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