The breaking point occurred at Lowe’s. I had repaired a small part of our wood floor and needed to seal it. I did not want to stain and seal; our floors are the basic amber color. I looked online and found what I needed. Foolishly, I had not checked the “in store” option, so when I arrived my choice was not available. I restarted my search in the store, and quickly found a gallon to work, but nothing smaller. A Lowe’s employee came to the rescue. “You need to stain first…” No, I just want one thing. “Oh, then here is what you want.” Handing me a clear finish. I objected, wanting something amber tinted. “Nope, this is what you want,” she said, and turned talk to someone else, blocking the shelf. I fumed internally, then cut through and put back the clear coat. I was still sure there were smaller, cheaper options, but I grabbed the gallon.
Of course, imagining an easy trip, I brought the three girls. They were dancing and lagging. In my very own father’s calm before death and destruction voice, “I am going to lose it, please keep up with me.” Ivy – the only one with a mature parent seismograph – urged everyone to hurry and hold daddy’s hand.
Thankfully I didn’t really erupt, but I was tense and angry. Yet my anger had nothing to do with Lowe’s. It had little do with my broken work computer. Two funerals and a memorial garden dedication have made me busy, but they were not the cause. Nor was the arrival of hospital bills. These all added to my stress, but they weren’t the root.
The root was little Ezekiel at home with a mild fever. A surgery that did not go as we hoped, with the possibility of another (okay the bills are part of it!). And me wondering if something bigger was wrong.
How often is this the case? We flip out over something minor – that on a normal day we wouldn’t even care – all because of something else. It is something big, something we can’t control… much less fix. So I am left trying to fix floors and flipping out about kids dancing in the aisle… when really I just need to stop, rest, and cry out or maybe cry in prayer.
I do not want to over blow the situation with Ezekiel. We were again at Children’s Mercy today and his fever (subsiding) does not seem to be an infection. While his procedure did not go as planned, reality was set firmly as we walked the halls. Around us were children in wheelchairs and breathing tubes. Others with struggles I could not understand, but far beyond our own.
While these children seemed to cling to life, our little guy smiled and played with us. He was so fascinated by our security tags. He kept pulling them off to eat and we had to stick them to our backs. In the grand scheme, even if he needs another operation, this isn’t such a big deal. Not compared to so many others.
And for the other parents. I am sure at times they are ranting in Lowe’s or at traffic or… rather than judge. Maybe I can offer help or – depending on rage level – follow Ivy’s lead and quietly say a prayer. A prayer that whatever is really breaking down in their life will be healed.