My inauguration to the Tate way flying went like this: I, recently engaged to my husband, was flying from LA to Seattle close to the time that my husband, recently graduated from BYU, was flying with his family to Europe. The night before our so conveniently scheduled flights, we decided to leave for the airport at 7 am. The next morning, I was the only one standing near my suitcase and ready to walk out the door. After confusion, some shouting and, if I remember correctly, some sibling dirty name calling, I arrived at the airport, ran to my gate and sat down just moments before my plane took flight. I later learned that my father-in-law, a rocket scientist and master of efficiency, held the firm belief that being early was a waste of time. Most of his children live by the same waste not a moment code.
My dad has never had a speeding ticket. I’ve never known him to be late or in a hurry for anything. One of my favorite dad stories is once he was driving down a hill and a lone trailer rolled past him. He thought, that’s a nice trailer someone has lost, only to realize that it was his own. Somehow his trailer had come unhitched and he had to chase it down the hill. Maybe he hurried then, but I don’t know because I wasn’t with him. I’ve most certainly never seen him stressed.
I really don’t consider myself a perfectionist. As a mother of a large family, I’ve gone to a business dinner dressed to the nines only to discover baby spit-up on my fabulous new shoes, I’ve attended church with a half eaten tootsie-pop attached to the back of my dress, and I’ve gone to a parent’s night at the school with the remains of a candy bar smeared on the back of my pants’ leg. Wardrobe and other disasters frequently happen to busy moms. Unlike my dad, I’m often late and sometimes stressed, although never by choice.
I’m not saying that my dad’s calm methodical life is superior to my father-in-law’s not waste a precious moment approach…or wait, maybe I am.