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Apr 23, 2008

Time and Priority

On Mondays and Wednesdays, I leave for work much earlier than the other days. I have to be in Kamas by 8:30 to work with a middle school student. This necessitates being on the road by 7:30, much earlier than my 8:30 to 9:00 starting time. In my household, my niece and family (who I'm renting the basement from), start being up and about during the 8:30 to 9:00 time. Often the kitchen is full as we all maneuver around each other. The family is all gathered, getting breakfast together, getting Raheem out the house and etc. around the same time I am getting breakfast, packing lunch and leaving. On those days, I know I need to allow a little extra time to allow Dalia to "help" me pack my lunch, help me open my water bottle and take a sip, as well as to taste my breakfast. On Monday and Wednesday however, I'm normally gone before the family comes downstairs.

Today, no plans for extra time were made, in fact I "deliberately" slept until the last possible moment. I came upstairs and found Jaimee and kids up, much to my surprise. Raheem had to go to work early. The kids weren't used to waking up and finding him gone. They set about crying and making life difficult for Jaimee for 45 minutes before I got upstairs. Oh yeah, in case you're wondering, my hearing devices aren't on, so I heard nothing of this! Jaimee has her hands full, has had to work the last few nights, not to mention being pregnant. Here it was 7:30 and she was literally exhausted. I felt bad and wanted to help and spend more time with the kids, but had to dash out the door as I'm running a little late. Dalia proceeds to help me with my lunch. I try to do as much as I can behind her back so I can run out. She was jumping with excitement at the beginning as she put some soda in my lunch box. However, I filled my arms up with things and dashed out the door, tucking the water bottle in my arms, hoping she wouldn't notice it and want to help open it and sip. She did start to ask, I but I cut her off telling her I had to run, and out the door I went. Behind me I left a little girl who looked so sad and disappointed as I was telling her this and left without giving her that time for part of our treasured routine.

As I drove that hour commute to my first student, I found myself haunted by the expression on her face. She'd already had a hard morning, been upset, and now her mother was exhausted and probably struggling to keep going. Why didn't I take the time and stick to the routine she found pleasure in, as well as throw in some extra hugs for her and Mackie? Was my rushing out the door 30 seconds or a minute earlier, worth the disappointment and adding to an already difficult morning? When I finished with my first student a few minutes early and had time to spare before the commute to Coalville for my next student, I really had to question myself again. Why was my time so important this morning?

True I've had a lifetime of nothing to interfere with my schedule as I lived alone for so many years. When I moved in with a family I loved. I looked forward to the challenges of learning to meld with a family and the growth and change that I know I still need to make in my life. Looks like today I'm learning one of the lessons I wanted to learn. I've always claimed that people are number one on my priority list? Do I live true to that? Can I learn to forget my schedule and just focus on bringing joy in the moment to a little child, who only wants to be a "big girl" and help? I need to learn to forget myself and my schedule, put the priorities where they belong, on the people in my life. Here's hoping this "old dog learns this new trick" :-)


cami said...

It's fun to read your blog!!!! I didn't know you lived with Jaim...how fun for you and them.

Ang said...

Sound like fun to live with such a wonderful family. How nice to give support to one another. Take care.