This weekend my husband is hosting the State Knowledge Bowl tournament at his high school. Last night, he came home and said, “I did something really stupid. I totally forgot about the coach’s room buffet.” (One hundred fifty people, by the way.) Often when he or the kids say something like this, I somehow think it is a call to action. Like they are asking me to help solve their problem (or solve their problem entirely). Perhaps this is my learned response because two of the kids actually *do* operate like this. They’ll state a problem like they are serving it up for me on a silver platter to handle. The problem is followed by silence, and it is the painful, hard, still silence of the development officer doing “the ask,” like, We would like your foundation to donate 1 million to the annual fund.
I own my gullibility. If I could go back in time, and one of them did the “problem presentation,” I would have rehearsed a sympathetic but non-enabling response: “Wow, that’s tough. What are you going to do about it?” Parent fail. Or the bigger parent fail might be that I actually *think* that I have to solve other peoples’ problems. And that’s on me.
So last night I returned to my typical problem-solving mode. “Let me think about this,” I said. It’s fine, honey. I can go to Costco, you really don’t need to do anything. “Well, if I were a coach I would be disappointed with carbs for breakfast.” I was thinking two crock pots of scrambled eggs with ham and cheese. Two top-notch coffee cakes. Overnight oatmeal with berries & syrup. A fruit tray. Sliced ham on the side. I scoured the freezer. Checked the baking pantry. Texted my friends for extra crock pots and baking pans. Made lists. Wow, that sounds amazing, but I can take care of it with Costco if you don’t want to. It’s a lot of work.
I texted my friend, Shauna, and asked if she is willing to come to my house after our girls’ dinner on Friday night. Extra hands make for light work. One Friday night, staying up late and then getting up early the next day to schlep food to the high school, is survivable. But this morning, in that hazy space between sleep and awake, I realized something. I don’t want to spend my entire evening stressed out and a Saturday morning running around. “I’m rethinking making food for the buffet, tomorrow.” We were still lying in bed. I told you that I can take care of it. My dad and I will go to Costco and he can help prep. It’s decided. I’m bailing on the food prep. Enjoying my friend. And my Saturday morning. Which will be quiet since everyone else will be gone at the tournament by 7:00. Watching the match will be fun, of course, especially since the youngest man-child is competing for the last time, but it will be much more fun to be a spectator. I’ve realized, I have to let go of some things, and this weekend I let go of the coach’s room buffet.