Wednesday, April 15, 2015

N is for Nice

This is a recycled post from a few years ago. I love the quote, "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice." This is a story about my nice friend, Nancy. 

Paulie Marshall wrote: “Sometimes a person has to go back, really back – to have a sense of understanding of all that’s gone to make them – before they can go forward.”

I’d like to point out that we bought our fifteen passenger van because Alex, husband to Nancy and the most geared headed person we know, recommended the Ford 150 vans. When we were younger and had flocks of children, Nancy drove a 150 and I drove a 350 extended van. And it was great. There were many times when I had my six children, Nancy and her five children and a couple of dogs in the van. We were always noisy, but generally happy. 

Nancy’s kids are now all adults and she drives a Mercedes convertible which comfortably seats Nancy and her dog, Sandy. Last week I asked Nancy if she could drive my carpool. Since she works at the school where my girls attend and I knew that her family has a collection of cars in a variety of sizes, didn’t think this would be a problem. 

On the given day, Nancy forgot to trade cars with her daughter and she found herself in front of the school folding four teenagers into a car built for two. Taylor sat in front. Natalie, Miranda and Alex squished into the back, sitting, pretty much on top of each other. No one cried and no one died, although I’m sure there was a lot of bouncing and groaning as they rolled over speed bumps. 

There’s a lot of life lessons to be learned from this experience.

Even though after one look at Taylor, Nancy knew her car was inadequate for the job, she still showed up and did the best she could with humor and grace. 

Just like the ducking that occurred when Nancy and crew passed a police car so they wouldn't be cited for clearly breaking the seatbelt law, sometimes you have to keep your head low and try to accomplish what needs to get done without drawing unnecessary attention. 

As we get older and pass from one stage of life to the next, it’s easy to forget. As a mom of teenagers and young adults, I sometimes forget about bottles, pacifiers, and the need for large vans. 

On the days when my semi-grown children are challenging, it’s easy to feel nostalgic for the days when they brought me flowers and drew me pictures. They were sweet and my memories of their childhoods are tender, but I have to remember the tantrums, spilt milk and the carpet that smelled of spit up and urine.

And then be grateful for the convertibles of this stage of life.

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