September 17th, 2009 by A.G.J.
My friend, Chris, is a truly gifted massage therapist. Packing up to leave my house yesterday, she gripped her retractable table under one arm and carried a large, L.L. Bean type tote in the other. I asked if I could help with the door. “Nope. I’m used to this,” she explained. “I’m in pack mule mode.”
I, too, am familiar with pack mule mode, and, while in it, I tend not to ask for help. I assume that I’m more capable – though admittedly also more uncomfortable due to the weight I’m hefting – than those who might come to my aid. Rather than risk a total screw-up or waste precious time, I’ll juggle 5 grocery bags, my son’s knapsack, soccer cleats, car/house keys, and my daughter’s sippy cup.
I could easily ask my daughter to carry her own sippy cup, but my fear is she’ll spill it (gasp), hopping from the car to the front door. I could ask my son to carry his own knapsack and cleats (sometimes I do), but this time I just can’t handle seeing them strewn about the kitchen floor, like litter leaked from a garbage bag.
I have created this world. Make no mistake. This is my story and my belief about my kids and my life. The arrogance of my ego astounds. I see the relentless unwillingness to surrender my will. I simply refuse, claiming to have everyone’s “best interest” at heart. Hah. I might’ve bought that gold-plated lie a couple years ago but not anymore. Today I stop rushing like there’s a moment more important than the one I’m experiencing. Today I take a deep breath and ask for help. Today I get a chance to show my kids what patience and humor look like on their mom. Right here, right now. Ahhhhhhhh. The load is lighter already.