The first thing you need to understand is I have really ugly toenails. Not just in a normal way, but mine are thick and have black spots.
The second thing is toenails were only a small part of my problem. It was Holy Saturday and my family was to be at Mass in a mere seven hours. The clothes weren’t ironed, no food prep for the next day’s meal had begun, I still had a couple items to buy, the baskets had yet to be assembled, and the laundry the packing for our 5 day trip beginning Monday hadn’t even begun.
The third thing is that I was on the way to the hospital. I was on the way to the hospital for the second time in two days, for one of many, many times in the past month. My mom was in the hospital (again) and as I drove there, my head was full of all the things I needed to be doing. Baking, laundry, getting all those clothes ready and what if I wanted to wear toeless sandals to the Easter vigil? I hadn’t even painted my toenails.
How was I going to get it all done?
Obviously, going to see my mom was the important thing . . .so what about all this other stuff?
Could I help the stress I was feeling given the circumstance? I mean it was logical given how much I had going on to feel that way. Still, I sensed something was a little off with my thought process.
So I asked myself this question:
what would happen if this stuff didn’t get done?
I went through the list in my head, and the answer was . . .
Nothing. Nothing at all.
Does anyone aside of me care if my kids clothes were ironed? What if we wore jeans to church? What if I didn’t make our traditional bunny cupcakes and what if I didn’t get to laundry and we left late in the day on Monday for our trip?
And what if my toenails weren’t painted?
I don’t think anyone else even cared except me. It was an ideal in my head . . .and ideal doesn’t always work. So it was time to change the picture.
After that I was able to take a step back and let go. I would do what I could and the rest I would let go.
After a nice visit with my mom, I went home, took my son to practice, stopped by Dollar General to get pantyhose and little girl bobby socks. I was then able to iron the clothes before throwing dinner on the stove and picking my brother up at the bus station, going back to the hospital for us both to visit mom. I got home just in time to throw my Easter dress on (the kids had miraculously dressed themselves) and get to the Vigil Mass.
And, what a beautiful Mass it was.
After Mass, (at 11 pm) I was assembling the breakfast casserole for the next morning and yelling at my kids to get to bed when my husband said, “it seems like we are always too busy preparing to ever enjoy big events.” How true it was. But this year, I was doing everything that I could . . .but I wasn’t worried about the rest.
And you know, the next day was just as hectic but my mom was discharged and home in time to enjoy Easter dinner with us.
Was Easter ideal? No. Not even close.
But, it was beautiful. It was just right.
And you know, the more of these silly details I let go of, the more it became about what it was supposed to be about and the less about what I wanted everything to look like. Come to think of it, maybe that’s way I enjoyed the Mass so much this year.
Moms, we do, we do and we do. But sometimes we can’t. And if we are driven to do it all when we can, it has to be ok with us when we can’t. I don’t want to spend another holiday or even another birthday party not enjoying it because I’m worried about all the stuff I that I think needs done that wouldn’t actually be the end of the world if it didn’t get done!
That’s my life lesson this Easter.
Now somebody make sure to remind me of it in a few weeks when I’m getting ready for my kids’ birthday parties.