An Unexpected Pleasure

Confession: I’m not a terribly patient person. There. I said it. You’d think that someone that chooses to teach high school students would be a veritable fount of patience. Well, I can be, but when it comes to sitting in the car waiting for my children to finish up at school and wander their way to the car, I’m not. I recall a few weeks ago sitting in the car waiting for them for an hour and a half. Yes. An hour and a half. I’ll not go into the nutty details that caused it, but suffice it to say mama was worn thin and in tears by the time we drove away.

Even on the days that I’m not sitting there that long my mind tends to wander to unwritten to-do lists that both stress me out and vanish into thin air as soon as the thought leaves my head. Yeah, I have to write things down or they don’t stand a chance. Anyway, as I sit, I think of all the things I could be doing. All the things I could cross of my to-do list. Better yet, write down all the things I’ve already done that day just so I can have the cheap thrill of crossing it off (I know, I need help).

So today, after picking up a few things from the grocery store for dinner (including some Mint Chocolate Chip Blue Bell), I pulled into the pick up line patiently, ahem, awaiting my children. My dude showed up almost immediately and hopped into the car. We chatted about his day, which mostly consists of a shrug of the shoulders. And we waited for blondie. And waited. I ran out of my usual litany of questions that are designed to elicit more than a one syllable response. I was going to have to pull out the big guns.

“So, how is the book you are reading coming along?”

*grunt and shoulder shrug*

“It’s A Wrinkle in Time, right?”

“Uh huh.”

“I know your dad has read it, but I haven’t. What is it about?”

I was not ready at all for what was about to come. With a flip of his hair, I saw his large brown eyes brighten and he dug in. It was incredible. Plot, setting, characters, insight into each of the characters psyche…you name it. I could tell that he enjoyed weaving the important bits of the story together for me. And I surely enjoyed hearing it. Every syllable.

As he trailed off a bit, he let me know he’d only read as far as chapter nine.

“Good stuff, dude. It sounds like not only do you understand what is happening in the story, but that you’re enjoying it, too.”

*Another shrug, but mama knows better*

“Would it be ok if I started reading it, too? Then we could talk about it together. What do you think?”

And instead of a grunt, I was met with a smile and a hearty nod. I’m already on chapter five. And I’m one happy mama. Even though the Mint Chocolate Chip totally melted in the trunk as we sat in the parking lot chatting.

Years ago, my sleepy prince after his frist day of school, Oxford, England

Years ago, my sleepy prince after his first day of school, Oxford, England

What sorts of unexpected pleasures have you encountered this week? I know that after last week, I’ll take all I can get. Spill it, people! We all need it!


18 thoughts on “An Unexpected Pleasure

  1. I love your blog!!
    Thank you for putting into words that nagging feeling I have when I have to sit and wait! And if I don’t have a book or a pen/paper handy…I’m a goner!!
    My unexpected pleasure (I shared on FB already, too) follows. Scene: The end of a fun, long trip/ Lots of laundry and packing for the next trip in 3 days/Company coming in 7 days/Baby girl with fever and bronchitis and we’re living in a foreign country. THEN, unexpectedly, I get a little handwritten thank you note from a tiny one that says “I love this chrip (trip).” Suddenly and unexpectedly, it was all so much better!
    Your boy is blessed to have you as his Mama! And ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ is fantastic!!

    • Oh, Karen. So much to say. 1. Thank you! 2. What a beautiful gift you’ve given your family by being willing to go. 3. You are a strong, strong woman-you’ve done this with TWICE the number of kids than we did AND in a foreign language. Amazing. 4. Your tiny one’s note is a testament to the thoughtful and thankful girls that you and Houston are raising. Well done. 5. Enjoy your last days there. They can be hard, but know that there are a LOT of folks here ready to hug your neck, dear. 6. I love you. And I am most thankful to call you my friend. Hurry home!

  2. Someone else who adds completed items to their to-do list? Whew, I’m glad I’m not the only one 🙂 My unexpected pleasure? Our oldest just completed his first day of STAAR testing (no easy feat with all his challenges!), and is ready for day 2 🙂

  3. So, next time your kiddos are late getting to the car, just roll down your window and I’ll chat you up. I do that middle school pick-up line thingie too.

    My unexpected pleasure came last weekend at HEB camp. The fact that I got to go although I thought I was getting sick, and then having wonderful, yet unexpected times with new friends and old friends. So very thankful.

  4. (I posted this unexpected pleasure on FB last night. It might be recycled but too good not to share again)

    I always knew my heart would break when little man lost one of his top front teeth. It happened yesterday:-( As anticipated, I was sad not to see those two teeth act as a team to make the perfect “walrus” smile. But then tonight he read to me. Something about a dog named Sam wanting to befriend a snake, a squirrel and a cat that hissed. All with a glorious lisp. It’s funny how a heart can go from broken, to melted, to full again. Thththo prethious:-)

  5. I love this post and I love A Wrinkle in Time. So glad you’re reading it with your boy!

    My unexpected pleasure this week (in the midst of lots of bad news) was seeing all the messages of love and care on Facebook and Twitter. There’s a lot of good in the world.

  6. I feel your pain…or impatience. I realized that when the kids got into the car, they were very anxious knowing I was going to be mad. So, having no time to myself, I designated this as my “me” time, put a book in the car, and was a smiling mon when they finally got to the car! Also know about the “one word” responses and grunts from the male child!

  7. My unexpected pleasure was this weekend at the Highland family retreat. We were all there except Sarah. During communion time we formed two lines to be served. David and I got in line. The boys were all sitting with friends so I assumed they would get in line with them. All of a sudden there were 3 big boys behind us. My heart was FULL.

  8. Love your blog Camille!! Unexpected? 1.5 mile walks with our son Thaddeus. Love every bit I can hear from his usually quiet mouth hidden in his bedroom!!

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