It was a shirt!

Remember I thought it was going to be tile? I thought some sort of minor housing detail would be what would finally send me over the edge. But, no, it was an article of clothing. This evening was the area- wide 5th grade track meet. Ashley ran and, of course, did us proud!

However, it occurred to me at 4 this morning that she probably needed some specific shirt to wear for this event. So, on her rising, I asked. “Oh, yeah…” was the response. “I think a few weeks ago Mr. Graham said we needed to wear our ‘Just Say No’ shirts.” “Didn’t you get a note about it?” “No, I was with PALS at Mr. Gatti’s during PE yesterday. I saw everyone else coming back with one, but I didn’t get one.”

So far, no sweat. I’ve seen the ‘Just Say No’ shirt recently. It’s in our bedroom, close to the top of her pile of clothes we moved to our bedroom to avoid concrete dust. So, Troy took her by the house on the way to school to find the shirt. It’s all good.

So, as a side note in an email this morning, Troy mentioned, “Also, we found a camo shirt for Ashley in our bedroom but it wasn't THE shirt she was looking for. She says she can make it work.”

Um, no. It will NOT work. Because I said so, that’s why. I start making plans to go to the house to look for it at the house during my conference time. But first it occurs to me to ask the counselor at Ashley’s school if they have any extra shirts that they could throw on her, so I send an email.

I’m not hearing from the counselor, so since Troy was going to meet “tile guy” at the house at lunch, I asked him to please look for me.
His reply, “Babe, I went in with her and pulled all that stuff- it's not there.” I can’t print MY reply to that revelation. I am on a non-stop quest to get my child the right shirt. I can feel the entire fa├žade of my calmness and cheeriness collapsing around this one shirt.
Troy tried to reassure me: “Don't sweat it, she was REALLY fine with wearing the other shirt......” To which I replied, “I know SHE is fine with it, and the rest of the world is fine with it, but i'm freaking b/c not only is keeping everyone calm my job, getting everyone what they need is my job. Getting everyone where they are supposed to be and having what all they need is my job and I'm not doing my job. I know I'm doing the best I can, but I failed on this one and I'm not getting past it. And when I see her tonight in her "make it work" shirt, and everyone else has on the right shirt, I will be reminded that I didn't do my job. Like I said, this is just the little drop that is making me run over...”

I was freaking, I KNEW I was freaking, but somehow Ashley in that shirt was going to make our family appear as if we had it all together, and I could NOT rest until I got her in one. Still not hearing from the counselor. Took my class to lunch and called the counselor to see if she had gotten my email (HELLO??? Life crisis, here! PLEASE respond!!) Left voice mail with counselor. Called school secretary, who, I think, is aware of my crumbling house, looking for the school counselor. She gave me her best, “Please don’t go postal over a shirt” voice and promised she would have counselor check her voice mail.

I returned from lunch to an email from the counselor: “I got her one.” Indeed, heavens opened and smiled on me just in that instance – and shortly after that Troy called all giddy about tile guy AND some other flooring, as well. We were starting to be put back together. Life would go on.

P.S. Meet Ashley at the track meet where she is in the same shirt she left the hotel in this morning. “Didn’t Mrs. Holder get you a shirt?” I ask, incredulously. “Yeah,” she said, “but it’s so hot. I’m just going to run in this one.” Her daddy encouraged her to re-think that choice before every last vein popped out of my forehead. The world returned to its axis as my first-born donned a camo shirt with neon orange writing on it. Sometimes it truly is the little things.


Tammy M. said...

There are several points in this post that stick out to me. I love that Ashley is "good" with not having to be like everyone else, that is awesome. And at the end of the day you could rest well knowing that if Ashley had wanted to wear the same shirt as everyone else that you had made that happen. I would have done the same as you, moved mountains to find the shirt. And...I am glad that you and Troy let her decide which shirt she would wear.

Antique Mommy said...

Oh yes! The "please don't go postal voice" -- I'm familiar with that. I got it just yesterday at CompUSA.

dad said...

Yup, along with my myopia and adolescent acne, I'm afraid my intensity was added to your genetic code. Hey, at least you got your mom's good looks and intelligence!

Christy said...

Sarah, I am SO with you. I, too, would have moved heaven and earth to get the "right" shirt. This part of my personality as of late has become quite apparent to my new bosses in the midst of grant writing. Did I mention that they've decided to forward EVERY part of the 70-page grant to me to compile since I am meticulously concerned that all text be Verdana 9-point? Blessings or humbling curses?

Roxanne said...

As I said to you in my earlier e-mail, there's a very good reason that a certain axiom regarding a big, strong camel and a tiny piece of straw has been around for centuries and still holds true with people quoting it to this very day. Tile, t-shirt, piece of straw. . .it's all the same. It's the "one more thing" that we cannot bear.

However, the planets have realigned, and I hope you found your tile. :)

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