A week ago I was on a very well planned vacation. I knew everything about who, what and when. There were lists of options and lists of set itineraries. I knew it so well I stopped looking at it.
And then my brain missed an entire day. The plan was to leave Georgia at 6:00am sharp on Thursday morning. Somewhere in there I started saying, “Thursday is our last day.” This despite weeks of excited planning about meeting a friend along our route on that same Thursday. It was 7:15am Thursday when I realized that I had invited my aunt and her family out for the day to a home in which we no longer had accommodations. 7:15 when I realized that there was no physical way to meet my friend by 1:00. We weren’t packed. No one had eaten.
I felt sick. This does not happen to me. Except it was. My aunt was looking forward to another day with us. The much anticipated hours with my very dear friend were being cut down to very little. There was no way of fixing it with either of them.
We drove to my aunt’s home. She met me dressed to the nines in preparation for our visit. I explained the situation and apologized. “It’s alright,” she said. But it wasn’t alright. We visited there for an hour. I wiped my eyes and tried to hold it together. We said goodbye and got on the road. I set to crying in earnest. My husband could not get past the idea that eating a sausage egg Mcmuffin was the answer. I ate it and he felt better.
There was no way to undo anything. Now we were late. For more than 7 hours we were late. I am not wired that well for ongoing failure. I’m big on making things up to people but there wasn’t any way to make it up. Until 5:30pm we were not there yet.
It should be called a good day. Although shorter than intended, the visits with both my aunt and my friend were deeply meaningful. I was still muttering about my massive failures getting ready for bed when my oldest daughter began singing softly.
Everyone makes mistakes oh yes they do . . .
It’s a song Girl two brought it home from school a few years ago. Turns out it’s from Sesame Street:
Everyone makes mistakes oh yes they do
Your sister and your brother and your dad and mother too
Big people small people matter of fact all people
Everyone makes mistakes so why can’t you?
At home a few days later, I was telling the story of Michelle’s most awful disaster. “My aunt, my friend, the kids, they all forgave me, but it was awful . . .”
Which is when a freckled eavesdropper marched over to the sink where I was going dishes and tapped me on the arm.
“You know what I noticed,” said my youngest daughter on her tip toes so only I would hear her. She is missing her two middle teeth at the top. “Everybody else forgave you but you didn’t forgive yourself.”
She turned on her heel quickly and walked away, armed folded across her chest the way she does when she is sure that she is right.