Glumly, my spouse and I agree on a date-and-time powwow. We discuss emailed lists of seven grandchildren’s end-of-year activities. We summon our calendars, determined to organize our world and theirs.
How can we attend a middle school concert, high school track meet and a graduation the same day 250 miles apart?
If only science would concentrate less on the ice caps and focus on beaming us to Timmy’s T-ball game on time.
We also review dates for Hubby’s end-of-semester grading and my writing projects. Can we mow the grass monthly and plant our garden before September?
Woody Allen, expanding on a Yiddish proverb, said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him about your plans.”
My parents, who were pastors, believed God’s plans rarely matched ours. Why bother with calendars? Even trips for groceries or car repair were interrupted by “divine appointments” with hurting — and annoying, I thought — people. Especially if I’d planned for us to go swimming.
My dad disliked calendars not only for spiritual reasons, but because he hated whatever cramped his style. My mother, like an unpaid air traffic controller, organized five children’s piano lessons, sports practices and work schedules in her head — along with all church events.
Until I met my future husband, I considered that normal. At his house, however, an unobtrusive calendar with notations of who, what, when and where possessed a Clark Kent superpower: it ran four lives.
Yet, my naïve love and I envisioned harmonious life together. We did show up the same day for our wedding. But how have Hubby and I met additional calendar challenges?
First, beneath Hubby’s conventional exterior dwelt an adventurous spirit. He married me, didn’t he? Second, his career as a country doctor trashed predictability. Babies held zero respect for plans to eat and sleep. People in pain rarely followed office schedules.
Serving on a church staff and running my own launch-’em-and-land-’em household, I began to appreciate calendars. Mom memorized hers, but to be there for the people I loved, I needed a for-real calendar.
Hubby and I still want to be there for family, church and community. What if our calendars — and our lives — showed nothing but white space? Blank evidence that we cared for no one, and no one cared for us?
We’d rather learn to laugh with God.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Are you a calendar fan?