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I am often not where I thought I was going to be....



We all know what a treat family car trips are. Growing up, my sibs and I enjoyed an added feature. You see, my mother cannot read maps and my father could not follow directions. As kids, we never asked, "Are we there yet?". We asked, "Are we lost yet?" My sisters and I spend loads of time, necks craning backwards, staring wistfully at that just-passed exit, knowing it would be another hour or so until we finally located that motel we had reservations for. On one memorable trip, my dad drove around the CN Tower in Toronto for an hour, muttering, "How do you GET to the damn thing?"

Little did I know, this magical mystery tour I endured on every family trip would be good training for life. I am often not where I thought I was going to be. I thought I would get married, get pregnant and have a houseful of kids. That sorta happened, but not without a lot of tears, frustrations, classes, social workers and courts. And the whole pregnancy thing never did occur.

I thought once I got the kids, I'd contentedly homeschool and raise a nice Catholic family, following the rule book and getting the desired result. Uh, let's just say that the rule book doesn't exist and my kids had other ideas.

Now, it seems, I face new challenges: road blocks, detours, an old map that isn't accurate, and a place that I'm not familiar with. I guess I could pull over to the side off the road and sit, but clearly that will not get me where I want to be. My best bet is to get directions from people I trust, and get back on track. It may be a different route, a different trip than I had planned, but my ultimate destination remains the same. I just have to learn to enjoy the trip more, and worry about the route less.

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Crossing Guard

I saw you
today
as you guided
your little man across that busy street.

You were wearing some
big man boots
and
watching cars and lights.

Your little man had on
black sneakers and
a Mickey Mouse hat
that bounced
as he walked.

He wasn't watching nothing but
your big man boots
and
the white stripes of the crosswalk.

Just before
he got to the sidewalk again,
his step bounced a bit
- he hopped over
a spot where the asphalt broke.

You turned to look,
holding out a hand to
your little man.
Not rushed or angry,
just making sure
he got up
on that sidewalk.

Then you walked on,
in your big man boots,
face into a cold Michigan wind,
with the little man behind,
his hat bouncing.