I like to be on time. I hate being late. I like following though on plans. I hate blowing off things I have committed to do and people I want to see.
Most of the time, though, my kids are my first priority, and that means often being late and sometimes having to alter/cancel plans I’d rather follow through on.
This visit home has been full of late arrivals to see friends and meet family. We started the trip arriving to the airport half an hour later than we’d planned, and I don’t think we’ve been on time for anything since.
It’s hard. I want to be on time. I feel like it shows respect for the people we’re meeting and accurately conveys our enthusiasm about seeing them, whereas I imagine that being late is like saying, “We had somewhere else we wanted to be more”, which just isn’t true.
Except that there IS something I want more than I want to be punctual to see my friends and family: happiness. I’m working really hard on trying to have a great vacation with my kids, above all else. I want to be pleasant, happy, and make this an enjoyable experience for my kids, no matter what. Even if it means missing a few moments with friends, or having to disappoint someone by bailing on our plans.
My natural state is to strive for perfection, but in the wrong area. My instinct is to be rushed, irritable and grumpy with my kids so that I’m not a moment late to meet a friend. And, really, that’s pretty backwards. What’s the more valuable effort? It’s so much more important to arrive with kids that are still enjoying this adventure than it is to be on time.
So every time we’re late, but get there smiling, be patient with us and feel good — you’re helping me be a better mom by understanding. And when you show up late to see me, I know that’s what you’re doing, too, and I am so glad to be able to help you.