"You guys, I'm so sorry... but we're going to have to run back home."
We were on our way to a family reunion, and I had already made three trips between the van and the house for things I had forgotten. During those lightbulb moments, the van had still been parked conveniently in the garage; this time, though, we were a good mile or two down the road. I had just realized that the watermelon I was contributing to the evening's dinner was still sitting in the fridge.
"We'll get to Nana and Papa's as soon as we can, I swear. But I really need to take that watermelon."
My poor hubby was stuck working late, so it was just me and the kiddos, who were anxious to see their grandparents and cousins. The sooner, the better.
I dashed into the house, grabbed the food, and waddled back out, channeling my inner Jennifer Grey. ("I carried a melon.")
This, I decided, was a teachable moment. Sure, we could be frustrated about the delays. I could be mad at myself. I could be impatient and short with them. But wouldn't it be better to enjoy and have a little fun?
"You kiddos are so lucky," I told them. "You have such an amazing and wonderful mom... If it weren't for me being a little clumsy and forgetful, I would be so perfect that you would feel like it was impossible to live up to my standard. Instead you can just think, 'My mom is so awesome! But you know, she's not perfect, so that helps me to know that I can be awesome too, just like her.' Isn't that great?"
There was a pause as they considered this highly informative revelation. Then Monkey chimed in, "Well, it's OK... but I wouldn't mind if you were just a little less forgetful."
Or, you know, if you were just a little less honest.