Chick-fil-A: Lunch Matinee

 

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When you are a parent, you fear the breakdown – that moment where the wheels come off the wagon. And, if you are very unlucky, this moment occurs in a public place.

It all started with a blueberry.

Our stage this week was a Chick-fil-A in Charlotte, North Carolina. Four hours into our road trip (approximately halfway), the weight-conscious mother in me wanted fruits and vegetables. A salad from Chick-fil-A came to mind, and I even had a coupon.

What could go wrong?

My husband, the hero of my heart, lifted my son from his car seat. Soiled shorts. Completely soiled shorts. The parking lot was busy, and we were frantic in a sweltering 90 degrees. What is the one item that can be extracted from a full duffel bag? That’s right: inconveniently awesome flannel pajama pants.

Yes, I probably looked like one of those parents. I felt terrible, so I caved to my son’s request for the indoor playground before our meal. Lunch on a Wednesday, after all, meant a deserted setting.

What could go wrong?

My husband ordered our food, and my infant daughter and I settled into our table right beside the soundproof Plexiglass of the playroom. How did I know the Plexiglass was soundproof? My husband, not three minutes later, found our son screaming at the top of the equipment because he had lost confidence in his ability to get down safely.

0 for 2.

When our food arrived, I inserted straws into destroy-the-environment cups and discovered a path into my daughter’s mouth with a little pink spoon full of pureed veggies. I can do this.

What could go wrong?

My son and husband joined us after nearly an entire jar of baby food had been consumed. The goal was within reach.

[Climax]

With three bites left, I offered our daughter a few pieces of fruit from my salad. And then it happened. Without warning there was coughing, which, when you have small children, inevitably leads to projectile fluids.

Not once, not twice, but three times made our little lady Miss Vesuvius.

And perhaps most dramatic of all was the Pop! of our final resolution – the tying together of our mystery.

It all ended with a seemingly untouched, uneaten blueberry.

Our wagon may have broken that day, but we repaired it with laughter. Deep belly laughter. And my husband and I finished off our last bites before many, many wipes died an awfully disgusting death. Not everyone gets to be a hero.

It’s amazing how, in messy circumstances, children illuminate what is truly important vs. who will see the story unfold. There was no curtain or applause that day, and I am not sure that anyone actually witnessed our impromptu performance.

I do, however, have this sneaking suspicion that parenthood will be full of more blueberries – setbacks along the way. And the script will be written as we go by fingers just strong enough to hold on when the wheels fail.

::today’s daily inspiration::

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