(Or, Reason Number 5,623 Why I Have an Amazing Family)
I'm hesitant to tell this story because… well… my mom reads this, and I have been avoiding telling her about this incident. (Sorry, Mom!) But it has such a wonderful ending that it needs to be told.
My parents have just redone their kitchen. It's beautiful, and they are thrilled. My mom and dad kept my kids overnight on Friday (Hallelujah!), and when I picked them up on Saturday, my mom gave me a decorative plate that she used to have up on a shelf in her kitchen. It is called "Katie the Tightrope Walker" and on it is a picture of a little girl walking a tightrope… which is laying flat on the floor. (Which is, by the way, the only way that I could ever walk on a tightrope.) She'd had that plate for as long as I can remember, and I also knew it was because of me, but what I didn't know is that the plate had come from my biological mother. Pretty cool, eh?
So I loaded up all our junk the necessary items for keeping 3 small children for 1 night and headed home. I pulled in the garage, opened the door to the van, and out tumbled the diaper bag, which spilled open and dumped the plate onto the floor. Of the garage. In case you were wondering, the plate didn't survive.
"Oh no!" I mumbled.
Lamb asked me what was wrong, and I gave her a one-sentence answer as to what had broken and why it was important. But I honestly wasn't that upset about it—I mean, I was definitely disappointed, but I wasn't emotional about it or anything. I wish I could say the same thing about Lamb. She burst into tears and cried for several minutes. And throughout the day, she must have told me three other times how sorry she was that my plate had broken. I assured her each time that she hadn't caused the accident and didn't need to be sorry, but she would just answer that she was sorry for me. That poor, sweet girl. Her emotions are so much bigger than she is.
Well, that night I was out and Mr. Fantastic had the kiddos. (Yes, I had a whole kid-free overnight experience on Friday AND a kid-free evening on Saturday! It was like a rare aligning of the stars!) What I didn't know was, while I was watching "Water for Elephants" (a great movie, an even better book—but be prepared for a couple of less-than-appropriate scenes in the book), there was some plotting going on in my house.
On Sunday morning, I was getting ready for church when Mr. Fantastic called me into our room. He and all three kids were laying on our bed, looking quite amused with themselves. He handed me a decidedly plate-shaped package, which was wrapped up and had 2 kid-made cards on top. Monkey, whose mommy-led-preschool-experience has been sorely lacking, can write his name and scribble, and had done just that for me. And Lamb had written me a nice little note about how sorry she was about my plate. I opened it up, and found this cute little plate that says "A Good Mother Makes a Happy Home" and has a picture of four little kids holding flowers. (And Mr. Fantastic said, "Since there are two little girls and two little boys, we thought we might have to adopt one more girl." I don't think he knows that, even if he wasn't being completely serious, that statement meant as much to me as the plate!) The plate is dated 1984, and came from an antique mall that is close to our house. It is honestly the most special gift I have ever been given. Nevermind that it's not something that I would have picked out or that it has four kids on it or that I was 4 when the plate was "released" or… whatever. It is special because it was Lamb's idea (and begging and pleading) to do it, my kids picked it out, my husband braved a store full of breakables with three small children to get it, and they were all BEAMING when they gave it to me.
I am rich beyond anything I ever could have imagined.
And all because the diaper bag fell on the floor.