While I was in Provo this week (moving my baby into her dorm), I was lucky enough to have lunch with my Aunt Rebecca and Uncle Chuck. We had a great time discussing BYU, classes, majors, dorm rooms, and skiing (always wishing for good snow). I’m not even sure how the subject came up, but my Aunt explained that they’d had some flooding in their basement – an accident resulting in unexpected repairs.
Unexpected house repairs? That’s my middle name.
My Uncle Chuck brushed it off. He told us about Willie Davis, a baseball player with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1960s and early 70s. During the 1966 World Series, Davis somehow managed three consecutive errors during the second game. When asked about his poor performance, he replied, “It’s not my wife; it’s not my life. It’s just a game.” And that – in a nutshell – was Chuck’s philosophy: The unexpected repairs might be frustrating or annoying for the moment, but in the greater scheme of things, they were inconsequential.
Chuck’s sentiment resonated with me – so wise and true.
But then I quickly returned to the Great Dorm Move-In of 2013.
Fast forward to Saturday afternoon -- when my SIL and I are speeding through the barren (but beautiful) landscape of New Mexico. I get a text from Parker: “Are you there?” I’m driving, and since I would never, ever, ever text and drive, I call him back.
Me: “What’s up bud?”
Parker: “Here’s what happened.”
[Note: No mother wants to here the preamble of “here’s what happened.”]
Parker: “I was sitting in the living room watching television when I heard a loud crash. I ran into the study and all of your shelves fell off of the wall and crushed your iMac.”
Me: “Are you kidding? Are you pulling a prank? Seriously? Really?”
Parker: “I’m not kidding.” (I made him repeat that like 15 times.)
I moaned and groaned about the state of affairs for a while, and then Debbie (my SIL) reminded me, “Well, it’s not your wife and it’s not your life.”
There was nothing I could do from New Mexico, and Sterling assured me everything was fixable, so I pushed the matter from my mind and returned to hours upon hours of driving.
When I walked through the front door Sunday evening I was so happy to see my family! I’d been gone nearly a week. But when I looked into the study I had to clench my fists and breath very deeply to keep from crying. My books, which had once been organized by time period, location, genre, and special interests, were in piles all over the floor. My beloved (and I do mean beloved) iMac lay shattered on the dining room table. I had (foolishly) not backed up my dissertation in some time. My desktop lay upended in a corner of the room. It was in tatters people. I don’t typically deal well with tatters.
But then I sat in the living room with Sterling and the kids, catching up on their first week of school. As we talked and laughed I remembered Chuck’s wise words. The computer and room would get fixed. Eventually. With some hard work and repair costs, everything would work out.
Becca and I continued talking. She was frustrated with some disappointments at school – she hadn’t made the first cross country meet, and she hadn’t been placed in the choir she was expecting. “Becca,” I said, “Let me tell you about a baseball player named Willie Davis. . .”