Being Flexible by Sarah Reinhard

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reinhard_newI’m not a naturally flexible person.

I’d like to be, though.  I have great intentions.  I’ll set myself up with resolutions and plans of action and set out to conquer my inflexibility.  I’ll steam along and talk big.

And then I’ll crash and burn.

Just ask my husband.  He won’t volunteer the information, mind you – he’s much too nice a man for that – but he could tell you about how the Reinhard family gatherings would inspire circular conversations of despair in our house.

“What time?” I’d moan.  “Who’s coming?  How long?”

He would shake his head, not even bothering to explain that none of that matters.

“We’re just getting together,” he said again.  (He probably repeated that ten times.)

While I burned up into a ball of frustration, he turned back to his football game.

And then we had children.

It was a gradual change.  First, there was the naptime juggle.  Then there was the feeding and changing sideshow.

Add another child and there were now more unknowns in my life than a whole family of in-laws could present, and they lived with me.

Would there be a middle-of-the-night wake-up?  Would someone be sick?  Would we all wake up nice and pleasant?

Recently, I had a chance to drive somewhere without little voices in the backseat.  As I mused about the landscape and things that needed done sometime, I realized, with shock, that I had become more flexible.

Instead of making a detailed plan of attack, I was putting together a mere outline of events, allowing for the crinkles of life to be part of things.

Lest you think this is just a different name for how I approached things before, let me correct you.  Sick kids, changed plans, spontaneous days:  these things don’t phase me the way they used to, before I was a mother.

In addition to the many other benefits and changes that I’ve experienced, motherhood has also made me flexible.

And for that, I’m thankful.

Now, where’s my planner?

Copyright 2010 Sarah Reinhard

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