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A Leap Year Miracle

Have you ever woken up and thought, “Today, I’m going to change everything that is wrong with my life. I’m going to exercise and eat healthy and shower. I’m gonna get the kids off to school on time and finish all the laundry.  I’m gonna make mashed potatoes from real potatoes, and wash the dishes by hand, and…”?

Well, it goes on and on from there. For me, it almost always ends with, “This could be the day your entire life changes! This could be the day when you start being the best Rachel you can be! Wouldn’t that be great!?!?”

Look at all those shiny goals, just out of my reach...
Look at all those shiny goals, just out of my reach…

Oh, it could be. The problem is on that special life-changing day of mine, everyone else seems to wake up saying, “Today, I’m going to be a total asshole. I’m going to scream for no reason and start fights because they’re fun. I’m going to ignore all the rules I’ve lived by for the past so-many years and I’m going to tell my mother I hate her. And if anyone tries to be understanding or thoughtful or caring towards me, I’m going to lose my shit. Damn it, I’m tired!”

This, my friends, was just the kind of day I was having on Leap Day 2016.

I won’t bore you with the details of every single fight and snap and smirk I had to deal with before breakfast.

I’m sure you can only imagine the 20 minutes of fun-filled family time we shared in the car on the way to school.

And just when I thought I had gotten rid of my problems for the next 7 hours, the little one- my angel, my sweet boy- grew horns like Lucifer and a pointy tail like Donald Trump!

The kid was such a butt. He screamed for chocolate milk.

He wailed because the cartoons on t.v. were not the cartoons he wanted.

He lashed out because I turned the t.v. to the cartoons he wanted but not to the exact episode he was thinking of.

He howled because I was standing.

“You snuggle me, Mommy! Snuuuuuuuuuugle Meeeeeeeee!”

I did everything I could to appease the beast because, as it turns out, getting up in time to take a shower zapped me of all energy and rational thought. Oh I snuggled the little monster…and ended up falling asleep for 10 minutes.

Then I woke up.

The good news is that potty training is going really really well. He  hasn’t had any accident and he’s getting more confident in the bathroom.

The bad news is while I slept, he pooped his pants and then, this overly confident child tried to clean the mess himself. In case you were wondering, 3-year-olds are not so great at cleaning sticky messes up by themselves. I walked into what can only be described as Poopageddon.

Immediately, all my positive thoughts went out the window. I scrubbed and disinfected and ranted like a mad woman.

“Can’t I just get one day where everything falls in to place?!?!”
“What on Earth was this child thinking?!?!”

And it grew…

“I swear if those children come home and give me any attitude…You know what! I should leave this mess for them! If they hadn’t been fighting all damn morning…”

And it evolved…

“This is my life! This is my whole frickin’ life! I will never be a writer! I will never be anything! I will spend the rest of my sad stupid life cleaning up shit and waiting on everyone else hand and foot until the day I die!”

And then, with the bathroom looking better and smelling not too bad, I turned to God, “Lord, I just need something. I need to know this is not what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life. Cause, I’m thinkin’ it is. I’m thinkin’ I’m up poop creek. Is it okay to use the word poop with God? I don’t know. I’m sorry.  Maybe if you could just somehow tell me what I’m suppose to be doing? Please? I’ll never mention poop to you again.”

Nothing happened.

So, I got Jack ready to go pick up Laurie. I ignored a call from, who I believed to be, a politician, and I kept chugging along. When you’re vying for Mother-of-the-Year, there’s no quitting, only tears in the bathroom.

Then my phone beeped. Ugh, did the politician really leave me a message? Idiot.

But, no, it wasn’t a politician. It was Stacy with the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in Dayton Ohio. She was calling to inform me that I had been taken off the wait-list!

Holy. Crap.

Months ago I had been devastated over this event being sold out and now…now I was going. Life seemed to stand still for a moment while I talked my way through this. “Oh, this is not a good time. Is it? You really don’t have the money now. And the kids…no. I should wait and talk to Steven.”

“Oh, shut up, you pansy! This is obviously a sign from God. You’re going and you’re going to learn and interact with other adults and have fun and become the brilliant writer that you were meant to be and that’s that!”

And that was that. I am going to the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop! I’m going to meet other talented writers and I’m going to learn how to master my craft and I’m going to eat healthy and I’m going to work-out and I’m going to…

Actually, maybe we’ll save that last bit for next Leap year.

Thanks for stopping by!









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