April 1, 2009

Humility Reigns

Do you ever have those "Homer Simpson" moments where you smack your head and say d'oh? Except perhaps they are also coupled with intense embarrassment. Homer is never embarrassed. I am. Even when I don't have witnesses.

I drove my children to school this morning because the older one had a huge project and being the nice mom I am I didn't want her to try to wrestle it on the bus, etc. I think at times I am a bit indulgent. I refrained from the "walking six miles uphill to school in the snow" talk, but I did realize Mama NEVER drove us to school. The bus was the only option. Or walking. I never missed it, or I truly would have known what it was to walk six miles to school in the snow. But I like to think I know it, because I did have occasion to walk or ride my bike, or I just didn't go, whereas today the kids get taxied.

I suppose to assuage my feelings of being an indulgent mom, I was alert to examples of more indulgent parents than I. And wow did I find one! I was behind a bus on the way back from the school and I saw a car idling at the end of the driveway holding precious cargo that apparently was unable to wait for the bus in the elements. (it's 58 degrees here today!) Gosh, what parent does that? I felt extremely smug and important as I passed judgment on the driveway dwelling car. I had a regular mental dialogue filled with opinions about how I would not drive my car to the end of the driveway on any day just so my kids could wait for the bus. I always felt a bit smug about those bus stop shelters people built at the end of their driveway also. My sense of being overly indulgent was put back in place. Surely I am not one of THOSE parents.

Then the bus stopped and an aide got off to help the handicapped young man in the back seat use his walker to get onto the side door of the bus. I sat in my vehicle, tears welling up in my eyes.

Embarrassed by my arrogance and judgment. Thank goodness it was only a mental moment. Thank goodness more I am lucky enough to watch my children walk onto the bus with two feet.

Those moments define our lives. Papa used to always say, "I used to complain that I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet."

I feel so much less indulgent, and so much more grateful. Yes, I am not one of those parents, and my heart goes out to them. I think I'll drive the kids to school again tomorrow.

Just because I'd like to do it without mental resentment that I'm being overindulgent.


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