My husband is incredibly level-headed. He’s a rock in the face of emergencies, a calming force in the midst of chaos. Of all the crazy things he’s put up with from me over the years, of all the times I’ve come to him over the crisis of a broken camera lens or keys locked in the car or a lost something-or-other (I have a tendency to be overly dramatic and emotional), he can always be counted on for an encouraging, soothing word. Until today, that is.
This morning, I got the following email from my mom:
UPS will be delivering two boxes. The smaller box is yours and the larger heavier box must be returned. It got sent to you by accident and belongs to another customer. Your other box will be coming soon. So don’t open it and tell them they have a call tag for it to be returned.
About a week ago, we received a huge box of what we presumed to be gifts for the children, from my mom (we don’t celebrate Christmas, but one of the kids has a birthday in December, so many of our family members go all out on her birthday and give lots of gifts to all of the children on that day.) For various reasons, it stayed in our living room, unopened, until yesterday when we finally opened it.
Almost immediately, all the toys were out of their packaging and being loved on by twelve little hands. Stuffed animals made their way outside (one of them was lost by bedtime, but found again this morning, a little worse for wear by some affection it received by our Great Pyrenees dog.) Tags were removed from (some of) the clothing as the kids tried on their new outfits, and labels were taken off picture frames and other knick-knacks as we found places to display them.
And then, the very next morning, we received that email.
I PANICKED. I grabbed the kids and yelled for them to “find everything that was in that box!!!” My youngest son started to cry as he faced the prospect of sending back (of all things,) our new fruit bowl, and the rest of us rushed around the house, trying to locate the discarded tags, packaging, and labels. I couldn’t stop thinking “If only we’d waited ONE MORE DAY to open that box!!!” The reality is there was just no way we could put it all back together. Even if we could locate all the tags and packages (and the chances of that were slim to none), there was no way we could put it all back in it’s original condition.
In a panic, practically in tears, and completely overwhelmed by the thought that the kids and I had opened a box that hadn’t been meant for us and had probably already lost several small pieces to toys that didn’t belong to us, I sent my husband the following text:
Almost immediately, I heard the soothing sound of a message in response and was comforted by the knowledge that an encouraging word was waiting for me, a practical answer to an impossible problem, a virtual hug to let me know that everything was going to be okay. With shaking hands, I lovingly caressed the touch screen to open the message that was going to solve all of my problems. It read:
Epilogue: As it turned out, the box was for us, it’s a different box that will be coming that will need to be sent back. Thankfully, I have other friends who can be counted on for
encouraging words laughter in the face of life’s problems and we got a good chuckle over the whole situation. 🙂