I got the call from Ryan on a Wednesday evening. “You’re going to have to pick up Szaba. I’m stuck in traffic.”
The daycare was closing in 20 minutes. We share one car, and I was working miles away. I had to hop a bus and hope. Cue panic mode.
I arrived after hours. A teacher had taken Szaba into the office lounge and given her a book and cookie to keep her occupied. I apologized profusely. The teacher smiled and waved me off. “These things happen. It’s fine. We had fun!”
Szaba grinned at me all curly locks and cookie crumbs.
Rather than walk (or more likely carry) her a half mile back to the bus stop without a stroller, I texted Ryan to meet us at a restaurant a couple blocks away.
The restaurant was abuzz with neighbors, kids, and conversation. The waitress gave us paper menus and a cup of crayons. Instruments waited within reach.
Ryan arrived, all frustration and apologies, but Szaba, her teacher, and now this festive little restaurant had shown me the light.
“These things happen. It’s fine. We’ll have fun!”
We ordered dinner and drinks, and soon the musicians came out to claim their instruments. Szaba was elated. She’d rarely seen live music, especially up close. She clapped, bobbed her head, and followed every song with glee.
With a tune and a chorus of smiles, our horrible-no-good-very-bad day transformed. The stress isn’t imprinted on my brain. That family memory is.
Don’t you just love it when life takes you by surprise, shakes you, and says, “Hey, look over here! Life is happening, and it’s beautiful. All you have to do is see it.”
Remember: just because things aren’t going the way you planned, doesn’t mean it can’t be better (maybe even better than you originally hoped). Be open to turns in the road and outright detours. Sometimes they can lead to the purest moments of happiness.
“Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”