Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Changed Plans

Do you know where I'm supposed to be right now?  


or at least here…

Craig's dear, sweet, 99 year old grandmother passed away last week.  There was no possible way Craig could change his travel plans and be there, but over the weekend an opportunity came up for me to go (aka…my wonderful pilot brother-in-law who always has an extra SW ticket lying around for his Texas relatives.)  I loved that idea!  It's been over a year since I've been to Utah and I'm missing all of those Thunells a lot!  I made some phone calls (ok I didn't actually call anyone, because I exclusively text these days) and found a sitter for the kids, a sister-in-law to stay with in SLC, and a ride to and from the airport.  Perfect!  It was so easy and everything just fell into place.  By Saturday night, I was thinking about how many pairs of boots I would need for a 5 day trip to the frozen tundra.

Then Monday morning rolled around...  We were still having snow days so all the kids were still asleep as I wandered upstairs to start making lists.  I started with the list of things to pack.  I don't even OWN a dress that is appropriate for a winter funeral.  ugh…I started another list of things I needed to do before I left Wednesday morning.  And at the top of it, I wrote, FIND A DRESS.  Then I started a list of all the things on the kids' schedules…and all the things I needed to find substitutes for:

carpools to/from school for Emma
carpools to/from rehearsals for Emma
two Little Mermaid shows for Emma
cast party for Emma
choir concert for Savannah
the ward Christmas party on Friday night
den meeting for my Cub Scouts
a teacher for my 16-17 year olds
an organist for Sunday
someplace for McKay to go after school until the girls got home

…and I started to feel the weight of all of those responsibilities that I was handing off.

At that very moment, I got an email from McKay's teacher that their end of the year field trip, that I had volunteered to chaperone, that he has been looking forward to for a month, that had gotten cancelled because of the ice storm, had been rescheduled for Thursday!  

That was the last little straw balancing on my poor little camel's back.  

As I wrote down FIND A SUBSTITUTE CHAPERONE FOR FIELD TRIP on my list, I started to have a tiny little meltdown.  I thought, "There is no way I can ask all these people to fill in for all these things I'm supposed to be doing."  So I stopped writing all those lists and went down stairs to melt into my little puddle with Craig's calm, reassuring voice in my ears instead of my completely irrational one.  I sobbed and told him that I didn't know what my priorities were, that I wanted to be available for his family in Utah AND for our little family here, that I was feeling conflicted, and that I had no idea what to do.  I mostly cried and lamented, and he mostly listened.  But at the end of all that wailing, he said, "You know, either of those places is the right place to be.  And everyone will be fine with whichever thing you choose."  That's it.  Simple.  No weeping.  No waffling from one thing to another.  Just sound, simple advice.  That is what Craig does.  He provides the voice of reason when I can't seem to find it on my own.  

So, I called my sisters-in-law and my mother-in-law, who were all very disappointed, but totally understanding, and I cancelled my trip to Utah.  And instantly I felt better.  

This morning, instead of packing a bag and trying to make my way to the airport, and navigating through stand by flight schedules, I got to take my kids to school, stay in jammies until 10, and finish decorating my house for Christmas.  

All morning long, I have gotten these texts from Southwest Airlines…

They have rescheduled or cancelled or delayed every single flight that I was wait listed on.  I think it would have been a long, frustrating day in the airport.  

I'm sad that I'm not going to be at Grandma Thunell's funeral tomorrow.  I'm sad that I'm not going to get to spend the weekend reconnecting with my long lost sister-in-law besties.  I'm sad that I haven't been to Utah at all in 2013.  

But I'm SO happy to be here with my little family, transforming this long series of rescheduled events into meaningful memories.  I'm so glad I didn't miss today because I chose to spend the day in an airport somewhere between Dallas and Salt Lake City.


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