It has been a long road that began when Mike was so sick that he had to stop working, change jobs and relocate us to Albuquerque. That crazy year of income unknowns prompted my attempts to reactivate my social work license which had been dormant for 7 years. It was painful to discover that would mean retaking the exam that I thought I would never have to take again in my life. I began prepping in Chicago, then halted when we realized a move was in our future, then restarted when we got settled and I obtained all the paperwork for New Mexico. Today I FINALLY took and passed it…4 days before my provisional license here was to expire. I guess I never grew out of my procrastinating ways. It made me think of the many all-nighters in college where my accommodating roommate would sleep in my room, so I could use her computer from midnight to 8am to write that final paper that was due at 9am.
After all that preparation and anticipation, I was high on cloud 9! I texted Mike who suggested we eat out for dinner to celebrate. YES! Then, I picked up the humongous Easter basket from The Egg and I that Ethan had won from a coloring contest. We had eaten breakfast there on Saturday. The prized baskets (a blue one for boy winner and a pink one for girl winner) were displayed in the entrance and immediately got the boys’ attention. Ethan diligently colored while imagining out loud what he would do if he won. I played my Debbie Downer role and said there were probably lots of kids entering and even though his picture was nice there was NO guarantee he would win. I’m not sure who was more excited when we got the call yesterday that he won. Sometimes we realistic downers can learn from our children whose hopes have yet to be tainted with cynicism.
I was truly euphoric. The sun shone brightly (it IS Albuquerque). Cool breezes came through my rolled down windows. A basket prize the size of Texas sat in the passenger seat ready to make my kids gleefully happy. I might have been floating on my drive home. Then I saw lights in my rearview mirror. I dutifully moved over from the far left lane to the far right lane to get out of the way and noticed the lights were still there. DANG IT. I pulled over feeling my floating self sink way down to the lowest of depths. All the emotions of the morning, the nervous energy and butterflies and momentary intense fear replaced by overwhelming gratitude and relief, found an unexpected outlet. I think my hands were shaking especially when I could not locate the registration. While the officer handed me two citations demanding my appearance in court, I could not control the tears streaming down my face. My voice cracked two octaves higher while asking him if I could change the designated time so I wouldn’t be late to pick up my kids from school that day. What a major buzzkill.
It is easy to get mad at the officer for ruining my wonderful day. It is easy to say that I honestly did not realize how fast I was driving, that I AM a good person who does good deeds, that going 8 over the speed limit is slow for a city driver and that the mean cop should have realized all that and let this bawling lady off. Truth is I was the one doing something wrong not the cop. Off to court I go! It will be fun to tell the kindergarten teacher, “Sorry I can’t chaperone the field trip that day. I have to go to court. Otherwise, I’d be happy to supervise innocent little children!”
It was still a good day. A GREAT day. There is so much to be thankful for and all those countless things clearly outweigh the day’s downers. My kids thoroughly enjoyed the basket goodies that older brother generously shared with younger brother. We had a nice family dinner out where I ate a decent Korean comfort food for me. Friends texted and left supportive comments on Instagram celebrating with me. My kids prayed for friends at bedtime and their faithfulness in remembering those who are sick and hurting never fails to touch my heart. At this very moment I am catching aromatic whiffs from the beautiful Easter lilies whose shape reminds me of the best Good News that is worth shouting like a trumpet. He is risen. He is risen indeed. That makes every day a good day.