I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Did you know that February 26 is Tell a Fairy Tale Day? As I thought about what to post, I was reminded of the story, The Little Engine that Could. This story from a post a couple of years ago is my version of The Little Engine that Couldn’t-When a Mom Multitasks.
I drove my son, Donovan and his teammate to a basketball tournament two and a half hours from home. I felt rushed and slightly exhausted after having run errands all day. It was a day of driving the carpool, cleaning house and making sure my other son was ready to go to Grandma’s.
The evening sun beamed through the sunroof of my CRV that day as we drove from the east side of the state to the west. We checked in at the hotel and made it to the first game just in time for the boys to stretch then run onto the court.
The 9 P.M. game started. I pumped my arms with each basket scored and shouted “Way to go team.” But what I really wanted to shout was, “Hurry up and win so we can go back to the hotel and rest.”
After what seemed like a brief sleep that night, we were up and headed to the next game. It was the second game of the weekend basketball tournament. We entered the gymnasium to the sound of dribbling balls and the sight of referees in black and white stripes running up and down the court with whistles blowing.
I followed the crowd of other diehard parents to a seat in the bleachers. Some carried snacks and drinks for their child. I had those things, but I also had my writing bag. Just because there was a tournament, it didn’t mean I could shun my duties of writing blog posts, articles and revising a work in progress. Surely I could squeeze in writing between games and at half-time.
I watched the game with a book on my lap and one sitting next to me. When the referee tapped his shoulders with his fingertips, I rejoiced. A full-time out, just enough time to close my eyes and relax, if only for a minute.
“Time out, Black,” the referee called.
That was the last voice I heard before my eyes closed and my neck fell to one side. I was asleep, sitting in the bleachers of a high school gymnasium, totally oblivious to the chaos around me. Not even the screech of gym shoes hitting the hardwood floor disturbed my slumber.
I knew in advance that I had to drive my son to the tournament. What I didn’t have to do before the trip was to scrub the house from top to bottom and wash one more load of clothes. I embarrassingly opened my eyes after a few taps on my shoulder, “Is the game putting you to sleep?” the dad next to me asked. I really wanted to explain why I was tired, but instead I just smiled. I had done it again, tried to do too many things in a short amount of time.
After the game my son rested his sweaty arm on my shoulder and said, “Ma, how many points did I score?”
“Hmmm, eight?” That was my best guess.
Donovan smiled as he said, “I scored a few more baskets while you were asleep.”
I think he has accepted the fact that when I’m tired, bouts of sleepiness may occur.
After that day, I gave myself permission to ease up on the self-imposed demands of getting everything accomplished at one time. At the end of this journey I discovered the spirit of the Little Engine that Could by saying, I know I can, I know I can, I know I can.
Have you had a fairy tale experience lately?