Wednesday, August 6, 2014

When Plans Change: Unexpected Surprises

I am a planner. Type A all the way. I needed to know yesterday what the plans are for next weekend. I've been working on spontaneity a lot this summer, mostly in the form of just saying "yes" to whatever my kids ask to do (which usually isn't a huge stretch for me as it either involves the pool, the playground, the museum center, or the zoo).

This is my last full week of summer vacation. Naturally I had it all planned out. A neat little to-do list of experiences to check off. One more zoo trip. One more museum center trip. A trip to the playground where we can feed the ducks our stale leftover waffles from Saturday morning. A matinee of Planes Fire and Rescue. Checking out a new indoor playplace. A meetup with a college roommate and her kids. So much to cram into one more week at home with them.

So on Monday we set off to the zoo. A little over an hour into our trip (I had packed a lunch- I had PLANNED on staying for several hours), my normally rambunctious six-year-old sidled up next to me and told me she didn't feel like herself and wanted to go home. My heart started to race and I think I half expected her to puke on the spot. But she said her belly didn't hurt, she was just tired. Water and some Craisins didn't help. She still wanted to come home. So we did. And she dozed on and off on the couch for the rest of the day. And for much of Tuesday (there went the park with the ducks and the matinee). The final verdict reached early this morning was strep throat. Afternoon plans were cancelled and antibiotics prescribed. She's on the rebound now-- pretty much back to normal and ready to head out on an adventure tomorrow. She doesn't care that two days of my plans for her had to be cancelled or changed around. And there were some unexpected surprises in that.

The unexpected surprise of taking B to the river to throw rocks (a favorite activity of his) and having him all to myself while she slept. The unexpected surprise of having a quiet morning to make muffins and birthday cake for One Ordinary Dad and arrange his presents just so.
The unexpected surprise of a little more time to read while my sweet girl rested and my boy quietly sat by her side on the couch and patted her leg (those two really have an amazing bond). The unexpected surprise of a long midday walk alone while both kids napped (it's kind of nice to have a husband who works from home). The unexpected surprise of a little extra time than I anticipated to go get my classroom ready. The unexpected snuggles. The unexpected quiet. It was actually, unexpectedly, good for my soul.
I learned today that these unexpected flowers that appeared recently in our backyard are called "surprise lilies." In nine years of living in this house I've never seen them before. What a beautiful surprise and the perfect end to what I was wrestling with in my heart.

Sometimes plans change unexpectedly. Things don't go the way we want. And it's easy to have a pity party (I was having one big time on Tuesday morning when it was clear that it wasn't just the weekend catching up with C). I didn't want to deal with a sick kid on my last week of summer break with just the two of them. I didn't want to deal with cancelling and changing my plans. But it turned out okay. And I know these were just superficial little end of summer fun plans, but if I can trust God for the unexpected surprises and blessings when the little plans change, then certainly I can have faith to hold onto him when big important plans change, when the unexpected surprises may take longer to appear, when it really matters.

~One Ordinary Mom :-)

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