Don’t these things happen in threes?

Jan 23

Don’t these things happen in threes?

This morning I showed up for coffee with a friend exactly on time.  So I was pretty proud of myself, obviously.  By 9:40am, I checked our text thread to make sure I was at the correct Starbucks.  At 9:41am, I checked my calendar to make sure that we were in fact meeting this Wednesday and not next Wednesday.  I considered calling her, but figured she’s not that late, so I should wait a bit longer.  Lord knows I am not the one to hound anyone about timeliness.

And then I realized it’s Tuesday, and I showed up for a coffee date twenty-four hours early.

And then I texted her because I can’t not share my hilarity:


Last week, I was slinging dinner around the kitchen.  I set water to boil on the stove, I turned the temperature down on the oven, I set the table.  I thought, “I wonder if I should put the veggies in now; when will Maren be home?”

And then my stomach plummeted because I remembered that I was the pick up parent for volleyball practice.  I snapped the oven off, hollered at Greta to “Get in the van QUICK!”, and grabbed my keys.  I eyed the clock as I pulled out of the driveway. Practice had ended a full thirty minutes prior.  Ooops.  I called the other carpool families en route, and told them, “Kiddo is going to be home a bit late from practice, mmmkay?”

“Sure, no problem,” said the friends because I am only friends with people who have a high capacity for grace-giving.

“Just to be clear, everything is fine (I think), and it’s just that I forgot to pick them up.  No excuses, no logic, I was just making dinner and just plumb forgot.”

Friend says, “That is…..

….. awesome!  That is hilarious!” she laughed, “You are never going to live this down.”

She’s so right.  And then she asked, “Do you need me to go turn anything off at your house since you were in the middle of making dinner?”

“No.”  Then I thought about it, “Hmmmm, er, maybe,” I stammered.  “I mean, I know I turned off the oven, but it is entirely possible that I left a pot of water boiling on my stove.”

“Okay,” says super friend, “No problem.  I’ll just run over to your house while you are picking up the kids (forty-five minutes late!), and I’ll check your kitchen and stove and oven and all the things.”

“Thanks,” I said as I shook my head at the inefficiency I had created out of carpool which was supposed to be a thing of efficiency.  “Thanks for bailing me out.”  Lord help me.  I added, “When I get home I am so going to polish my Mom of the Year badge.”

Sure enough.  A whole pot of water had about boiled down on my stove, so my friend saved my house from burning down on the same night that I forgot my child, her child, and one other child.  I mean, it’s one thing to forget your own kid, but it is worse when you forget other people’s kids too.  And then to set your house on fire…


Don’t these things happen in threes?  Folks may want to reconsider spending time with me at this rate…


It is a monster blessing that this is happening to me.  Do you know why?  I have been filling my days up because I have capacity to do more things.

Last winter was rough from an energy standpoint.  In the course of forty-eight hours I could do three things off a list like this:

-make dinner

-clean up dinner

-go to grocery store

-have coffee/meal with friend

-an hour’s worth of email/desk/mail catch-up

-take a walk (the most exercise I could do)

-help at a practice or at school

-clean one room in my house

-do one load of laundry (sort, wash, fold, put away)

Most people knock lists like that out on a daily basis, depending on various factors.  I needed the rest of the time to sleep (a lot) and rest (a lot).  I could only do about one and a half of those items a day which was a strange existence.  Take a minute to think about that.  Some nights I would cook dinner for my family.  I never had energy to clean it all up afterwards.  Most of the time Brad would do it, but on the odd occasion that he was too tired (from working all day himself and doing All The Things I wasn’t doing), they would sit on the counter.  Then the next morning, I would either do the dishes (as my one big thing for the day), or I would leave them so that I could do something else off the list.  Phew.  I’m tired just trying to write down what it was like, but it was mentally exhausting trying to buffer my energy to maximize my efficiency.

I prioritized the coffee/meals with people because it was soul-filling.  I joked that my hobby was going out to eat, because it felt like a better hobby than napping.  If I did too much, I was down to being able to do less than three things over the next three days because I would be even more nauseous, exhausted, and vertigo would kick in.  Chemotherapy, my friends, it is not always an easy thing to endure.

Now, I find I am doing things at a rate that feels like I am the most productive person in the world.  (That’s not true.  I exaggerate.  I still have a lot of help.  But it feels sooo amazing to Do Some Things.)  The fact that I forgot to do something like drive a carpool and that I showed up on the wrong day for a coffee is a blessed miracle because it means that I didn’t spend half a day before and after buffering my energy to make it happen.

Holy cow that feels decadent.

I have been appreciating my increased capacity but these two incidences make me do in a laugh-out-loud way.  And I think that the busy-ness of life gives all of us laugh-out-loud moments to share.


  1. Kim Rourke /

    Mothers through the ages!! LOL!

  2. Marlayne Skeens /

    ? ? ? and that’s OK ? ?

  3. Next you will be making your kids drink “bad” lemonade. ?

  4. Love this. Wish we were still in the area to share crazy life. You inspire me to be better because With all I have going right everyday, I still flip out on my family when expectations aren’t met or they don’t listen or act like idiots In public. Then I realize I’m the one acting like an idiot. Turning focus to God now. Phew!

  5. Mommaj /

    ???your Special memories are priceless!! Life is Priceless and full of humor at times. I remember the time we were flying to FL… Only to get to CVG and discovering that our plane had departed a month earlier ?… Oops!! Miraculously got a different flight and still made it on time… Only the Lord!!

  6. So enjoyed you sharing that hilarious ? set of follies! We’ve all been there, done that. It’s part of parenthood right? George’s cousin has a story of hustling her 4 kids into her mini van and failing to buckle her 4 year old into his car seat. It was a hot summer day and the windows were down and her son proceeded to hop into the 2nd seat and go directly to the opposite side and slide out the window onto the roof! The mom drove away and people were honking and pointing up ?! She was mortified!

  7. Jeanne /

    Yesterday, I showed up for a massage a week early. It turns out there was a cancellation so she fit me in anyway. So, you are not alone in the oops department.

  8. I’m so glad you have the energy to make oopsies and the humor to soften them.
    How did the girls spend their time while waiting?