I woke with dry, teary eyes and greeted the morning pollen dust with elephantine sneezes. It was the first day back to school for the kids after the long break. Time to make the lunches. I cream-cheese and bag two bagels, and add two apple sauces for kids one and three, then pack up a yogurt and grapes for kid two, who doesn’t like bread in his lunch. I poured three bowls of cereal, and, satisfied, rub my eyes.
Kid three, running late, on his way down the stairs, is hoping there’s a bagel for his breakfast. No, say I, there’s a bagel in your lunch. How about some cereal for breakfast? No, says he, how ’bout we “exchange” the bagel in lunch for something else. My wife says to give him the bagel. I whine, feeling beset on all sides, emotional momentum halted on the way to the shower: “But I was DONE!”
Being “done” is a relative thing. Early in my public relations agency career I was in charge of assembling 50 press kits — a blizzard of paper to be stuffed into folders and shipped to a trade show in Hannover, Germany. Or was it “Hanover”? A good hour of angst led to the conclusion that while there are multiple acceptable ways to refer to the city in northern Germany, the datelines on the press releases were wrong. Holding a standard of professionalism against the noble sacrifice of the trees, I tossed the the press kit and reprinted every page, forever proud that I did right by the client, my own standards and those of my agency.
This morning, we gave kid three his bagel and cleverly repackaged his cereal as “lunch”. And it struck me that I should make myself some breakfast, a big cup of coffee and an allergy pill, and face the day with a little more of an open mind.