The moment we entered the highway, I noticed that traffic was a little more dense that usual. I figured it was rush hour and I was glad I had left an extra 15 minutes to get there. But then traffic stopped completely. The cars were not moving at all. "Why did we stop, Mommy?" my oldest asked. "Aren't we on the highway? Shouldn't we be going fast? Are we going to be late, Mommy? Can you just go around?" he continued.
"I'm not sure what's going on, love," I said hoping that he would give me just a minute to think. No dice.
"What are we going to do, Mommy? Oh look! There's a car transporter! Drew, did you see the car transporter? I have to pee, Mommy. I have to pee really really bad," he said.
Of course, there was nothing I could do. As the minutes ticked by, my anxiety increased. The thoughts rushed through my head - "I was supposed to be teaching these kids! I needed to be there early! I can't let them down! Will this child please stop talking for the LOVE OF GOD!" I thought.
"I really really really have to pee!" my five year old persisted.
"I need to peepee too, Mama," my three year old said.
I said a quick thank you that I had left the baby with my mom. She probably would've needed a diaper change.
"Okay, guys. I will get off the highway as soon as I can. I can't do anything about it right now," I told them. I grabbed my phone to text the administrator and the other preschool teacher so they knew I would be late. We had already been in the car for 45 minutes.
As we inched along, I checked the reason for the traffic. Apparently a tractor trailer driver had fallen asleep at the wheel and crossed three lanes of traffic. The highway was closed and all traffic was being redirected to back roads. I stopped in my tracks for a minute. I was so stressed about being on time that I forgot to think about the people that may have been hurt in an accident bad enough to close a highway. I said to the boys, "Let's pray for the people that may have been hurt in the accident."
"Okay. Then can I pee?" my oldest asked. Nice.
We finally made it to co-op a full hours after we left home. I'm proud to report that both boys made it there without peeing their pants and I managed to keep my sanity. They loved their classes and I loved mine. And mostly, I got a big reminder that some things are just out of my control.
We can control what time we leave, what supplies they have in their backpacks and what they have for snack but there are a million other things that are way out of our control. All we can do is be patient, take deep breaths and know that our only move is to roll with the punches with a lot of grace. And if you mess that up? It's okay to take a little grace, too.
Has anthing happened this week that made you feel out of control? How do you get yourself back to center?